Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Sampras to play in London

The Tour of Champions has lost its way in recent years. It used to be a great event, largely due to the enduring appeal of seeing John McEnroe play.

But being less choosy about who can enter has taken the shine off the event. McEnroe is a still a class act but finds it increasingly tough to compete with the younger, fitter, but less interesting journeymen the organisers have admitted in the last couple of years.

This has deprived the event of its PR ‘big shout’. The original USP was to watch legends from yesterday battle it out. But the reaction from most punters to a Paul Haarhuis v Guy Forget final is "Paul who?"

Which is why the announcement yesterday that Pete Sampras will be competing at this December's event at the Albert Hall is such a coup.

Because unlike many of the players who have made up the numbers in the last couple of years Sampras is of course, a true great.

Lets hope this is the beginning of something special. It would be fantastic if some of the other greats from the Sampras generation – Agassi, Becker, Chang – also signed up.

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