Philippoussis set for Australian Open return
Former World No.8 Mark Philippoussis is set to return to the courts of Melbourne Park, teaming up with Frenchman Henri Leconte in the Australian Open 2015 Legends tournament.
Former World No.8 Mark Philippoussis is set to return to the courts of Melbourne Park at Australian Open 2015 and will team up with Frenchman Henri Leconte in the Australian Open Legends tournament.
“Playing at the Australian Open is always a thrill, especially as it’s on my home ground,” Philippoussis said today.
“The Australian Open attracts one of the most competitive line-ups in the world and I’m looking forward to putting the heat on some of my old on-court rivals.”
A finalist at Wimbledon in 2003 and at the 1998 US Open, Philippoussis joins a star-studded line-up of top players-turned-coaches including Michael Chang (USA), Ivan Ljubicic (CRO) and Goran Ivanisevic (CRO).
Ivanisevic, who famously defeated Australia’s Pat Rafter to claim the 2001 Wimbledon title, has turned his hand to coaching with spectacular success, guiding current world No.9 Marin Cilic (CRO) to a US Open crown.
On the opposite side of the net at this year’s memorable US Open final was Japanese sensation Kei Nishikori, coached by 1989 French Open champion Chang, the youngest ever Grand Slam men’s singles champion, who is set to make his debut at the Australian Open legends event in 2015.
Former world No.3 Ljubicic, who coaches current world No.8 Milos Raonic (CAN) and also manages current world No.7 Tomas Berdych (CZE), will be hoping to improve on his Australian Open 2002 campaign when he was beaten by returning legend Wayne Ferreira (RSA).
Also returning for the Legends tournament in 2015 are former world No.1 and triple Australian Open singles champion Mats Wilander (SWE), Australian Open 1999 runner-up Thomas Enqvist (SWE) and two-time Australian Open doubles champion Fabrice Santoro (FRA) as well as crowd favourite Henri Leconte (FRA).
Other Aussie legends include 1987 Wimbledon champion Pat Cash and last year’s event winners Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge who together claimed two Australian Open doubles titles.
Also returning to Melbourne Park and debuting in the Legends draw, is former world No.4 Jelena Dokic whose fairytale run to the Australian Open 2009 quarterfinals is a fond memory for many fans.
Also in the draw are three Grand Slam champions-turned-coaches – 18-time major winner Martina Navratilova (USA), Australian Open 2000 champion Lindsay Davenport (USA) and 1997 French Open champion Iva Majoli (CRO), who coach respectively world No.6 Agnieszka Radwanska (POL), world No.30 Madison Keys (USA) and world No.82 Donna Vekic (CRO).
Joining them in the field is 2013 Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli (FRA).
Legend’s tournament director Todd Woodbridge said that fans should expect some very competitive and exciting tennis at Australian Open 2015.
“The 2015 Legends field is a super-competitive bunch especially with the addition of Aussies Mark Philippoussis and Jelena Dokic,” Woodbridge said
“I know I definitely want to win and I think the coaching rivalry between Michael Chang, Goran Ivanisevic and Ivan Ljubicic will just add more fuel to the fire.”
The Legends tournament will take place between Saturday 24 January and Friday 30 January 2015 at Melbourne Park. The full field will be announced in the coming weeks.
Fabrice Santoro (FRA)
Goran Ivanisevic (CRO)
Henri Leconte (FRA)
Ivan Ljubicic (CRO)
Jonas Bjorkman (SWE)
Mansour Bahrami (IRI)
Mark Philippoussis (AUS)
Mark Woodforde (AUS)
Mats Wilander (SWE)
Michael Chang (USA)
Pat Cash (AUS)
Thomas Enqvist (SWE)
Thomas Johansson (SWE)
Todd Woodbridge (AUS)
Wayne Arthurs (AUS)
Wayne Ferreira (RSA)
Barbara Schett (AUT)
Iva Majoli (CRO)
Jelena Dokic (AUS)
Lindsay Davenport (USA)
Marion Bartoli (FRA)
Martina Navratilova (USA)
Nicole Bradtke (AUS)
Rennae Stubbs (AUS)