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Australian Open Tennis Release: Pat Cash and Mats Wilander Celebrate 30 years; Sanchez Vicario and Hantuchova Return • Where’s Wayne Arthurs?

General view of Rod Laver Arena during the final match between Roger Federer of Switzerland and Rafael Nadal of Spain at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 29 January 2017. EPA/DEAN LEWINS

 

 

After their epic five set final at Melbourne Park 30 years ago, Mats Wilander and Pat Cash will return to the courts once again for the Australian Open Legends tournament.

 

In 1988, the tennis world sat up and took notice of the Australian Open at a brand new venue, then known as Flinders Park, and the final – which Wilander won 6-3, 6-7, 3-6, 6-1, 8-6 – is rated as one of the all-time Grand Slam classics.

 

Australian Open Legends Tournament Director Todd Woodbridge said Cash and Wilander will be an important part of a huge field of tennis superstars lined up for the AO Legends, many who have had massive success at the Australian Open themselves.

 

Woodbridge, who also played at Melbourne Park in the first Australian Open at the new venue in 1988, said it was a real coup to have both Cash and Wilander back at Melbourne Park as the Australian Open celebrates 30 years at the iconic venue.

 

“Having them back on court to celebrate one of the great Australian Open finals will be brilliant,” Woodbridge said.

 

“Don’t be fooled either, they both still play some very good tennis.”

 

Cash and Wilander both are very much looking forward to playing again at Melbourne Park, and have warm memories of that classic final that set the new Australian Open on its way.

 

“I obviously have plenty of memories most of them fond,” Cash said.

 

“Losing to Wilander in the final was a huge disappointment to me especially after losing the previous year in the final to Edberg, but in retrospect I played really well and just couldn’t pull off the win.

 

“Playing Pat in the finals on the bicentennial birthday of Australia that day was extremely special,” Wilander said.

 

Spicing up the competition in the women’s field is Spanish great Arantxa Sanchez Vicario.

 

“We are thrilled to welcome back 14 time Grand Slam Champion and former world No.1 Arantxa Sachez Vicario,” Woodbridge said.

 

“Aranxta was one of the true champions of our sport winning multiple slams in singles, doubles and mixed. She was such a positive player to watch, always smiling, but underneath she was one of the most tenacious competitors to have played our sport.”

 

“I missed last year after a skiing accident so I can’t wait to get back to the Australian Open,” Sanchez Vicario said.

 

“It’s always been one of my favourites and it is incredible how the tournament just keeps getting better and better. I can’t wait to see what improvements are made this year.”

 

Sanchez Vicario will be joined in the legends field by her former doubles partner, Daniela Hantuchova. The former world No.5 has recently retired after a stellar career spanning 18 years, which included winning all four Grand Slams in mixed doubles, the Hopman Cup in 2005 and Fed Cup in 2002.

 

As a duo Hantuchova and Sanchez Vicario reached the Australian Open women’s doubles final in 2002.

 

“I’m so pleased to be starting my Legends Career at the Australian Open,” Hantuchova said.

 

“A highlight of my singles career was in Melbourne when I reached the semifinal in 2008, and to be back in a much more relaxed fashion will be so much fun.”

 

The Australian Open Legends will kick off on the middle weekend, 20 and 21 January. Ground pass holders can catch all the action on the outside courts and Woodbridge is excited about the quality field contesting the event.

 

“We’ve gathered another top quality field for the AO Legends, and when you crunch the numbers there is an extraordinary amount of Grand Slam titles and experience out on court. I’m looking forward to another great tournament and I know it will be a lot of fun for the players and the fans.”

 

The Australian Open Legends Tournament line-up:

 

Men

Mansour Bahrami (FRA)

Jonas Bjorkman (SWE)

Michael Chang (USA)

Pat Cash (AUS)

Jacco Eltingh (NED)

Thomas Enqvist (SWE)

Wayne Ferreira (RSA)

Goran Ivanisevic (CRO)

Thomas Johansson (SWE)

Henri Leconte (FRA)

Mark Philippoussis (AUS)

Mats Wilander (SWE)

 

Women

Nicole Bradtke (AUS)

Lindsay Davenport (USA)

Daniela Hantuchova (SVK)

Martina Navratilova (USA)

Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (ESP)

Barbara Schett (AUT)

Rennae Stubbs (AUS)

 

Where’s Wayne Arthur’s in the legends list?

 

Australian Open 2018, presented by Kia Motors in association with ANZ, Jacob’s Creek and Rolex, will take place at Melbourne Park from 15-28 January.

 

Australian Open tickets are now on sale at ticketek.com.au.

 

For Where’s Wayne Arthurs in the legends draw?

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