Aussie ace Philippoussis
Mark Philippoussis and Greg Rusedski, both former US Open runners-up, have signed up to treat the Devonshire Park crowd to their grass skills this year as part of the annual Legends Exhibition Event on 16 June.
The big-serving grass court specialists will face each other Singles for only the seventh time, three wins apiece on the ATP Tour, before competing in the Mixed Doubles contest with ex-Wimbledon winners Lindsay Davenport and Rennae Stubbs.
Rusedski, the ex-British no1, explained: “I’ve had some tough matches against Mark and I enjoy playing on grass, so I’m looking forward to dusting down my racquet.”
Great Brit Rusedski
Australian ace Phillipoussis (1998) and Rusedski (1997) were both unseeded and each fell in four sets to Australian Patrick Rafter in tense US Open finals, but never reached the dizzy heights they achieved at the New York Grand Slam event.
However, Philippoussis finished 2003 Wimbledon runner-up to Swiss star Roger Federer and collected 11 ATP Tour titles, including on grass at Queen’s in London in 1997. His last success was at Newport in the United States seven years ago, when he dethroned reigning champion Rusedski.
For Rusedski, Newport proved to be a happy hunting ground as he took the title three times and won the first (1993) and last (2005) of his 15 ATP Tour crowns on the grass courts.
Davenport and Stubbs, both former world no1s at Ladies Doubles, each victorious at the Wimbledon Championships and ex-winners at Devonshire Park, will add to the day’s spectacle for the Mixed Doubles contest.
Ex-Wimbledon winner Davenport
American Davenport, a former world no1 at Singles on the WTA Tour, had a wondrous 1999 at SW19 by beating German Steffi Graf for the Singles crown then added the Ladies Doubles title with fellow American Corina Morariu. She also took the Eastbourne title in 2001, one of her 55 WTA Tour triumphs over a 15-year period.
Australian Stubbs is a Doubles specialist who teamed up with compatriot Lisa Raymond to win the 2001 Ladies Doubles at Wimbledon and three years later added her second crown with South African Cara Black.