Mallorca grand champions tennis tournament returns to the island in April

20-08-2013
Popular French star Yannick Noah and Romania's bad boy of tennis Ilie Nastase take top billing at the second Mallorca Grand Champions tennis tournament to be held at the Santa Ponsa Country Club, April 19-22. After last year's successful inaugural tournament, which featured the likes of Australia's Wimbledon winning Pat Cash and Swedish legend Bjorn Borg, organisers are bringing back the event in a new and enlarged format. Instead of the eight giants of tennis, this year's tournament will feature twelve former tennis greats, including England's John Lloyd who will on the island to play in doubles matches. Chief organiser for the event, Franz Lichte, is excited about the prospect of another fine tournament in Santa Ponça. “We have more players this year and there will also be a doubles tournament which will give fans a chance to see the likes of Noah and Nastase twice in one day on court,” said Lichte. “It is a fun tournament because the players are more relaxed and they mix with the spectators, it's always great to see players such as Mansour Bahrami having fun on court and then be able to meet and talk to him afterwards.” Bahrami is the Iranian doubles expert who last year endeared himself to the Santa Ponsa crowd by his hilarious tricks on court. Feedback from last year's tournament suggested fans wanted to see the old stars of yesteryear because it was hard to keep track of all the different players these days. It was something Lichte agreed with. “The sport today really hasn't got the personalities that it used to, the players who will play in Santa Ponsa are all charismatic players, and that is what tennis fans want to see.” For charismatic players look no further than Noah and Nastase. Noah is a fanatic guitar player and will be displaying his musical and singing talents on the island with his band at the Player's Night during the tournament in a local hotel. Romanian Nastase was known as the bad boy of tennis who would always play up to the crowd. His court antics sometimes disguised the fact that Nastase was in fact a genius of the court and will be remembered for his epic encounters against Jimmy Connors during the 70*s. Alongside Bahrami, Lloyd, Noah and Nastase there will also be last year's winner Anders Jarryd, who, unlike most players, took the event extremely seriously, whilst displaying some amazing tennis.

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