The 2nd annual World Tennis Day was a tremendously successful event, featuring BNP Paribas Showdowns in three different locations on three different continents, from Hong Kong to London and New York City. With significant star power present at all three events, it was certainly a fantastic day to celebrate the sport.
World Tennis Day was launched by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and StarGames on March 4, 2013 with the goal of promoting the sport of tennis and increasing tennis participation among young players around the globe.
Results and recap from all three events are available below:
Sam Stosur d Li Na 6-4, 6-3
The Showdown kicked off with an enjoyable contest between World No. 2 and recent Australian Open champion Li Na and former US Open champion Sam Stosur. The Australian continued her streak against Li, winning 6-4, 6-3.
Lleyton Hewitt d Tomas Berdych 6-4, 7-5
Lleyton Hewitt continued to roll back the years on Monday afternoon in Hong Kong, as he dazzled the local crowd with a variety of slices to earn the straight sets victory over Tomas Berdych. The match was not without its laughs, as the two competitors entertained the crowd with some fun rallies. Berdych even took the time to live tweet during the match.
Pat Cash def. Ivan Lendl 8-6
In a reprisal of the 1987 Wimbledon final, Ivan Lendl and Pat Cash arrived at London’s Earls Court to take part in the first of two special World Tennis Day exhibition match-ups. Both competitors held serve comfortably for the first 10 games before Cash began to give Lendl trouble on his serve. The Australian would take the break to lead 7-6, and would close out the match a few minutes later after Lendl missed the forehand shot.
Andre Agassi def. Pete Sampras 6-3, 7-6(1)
In an attempt to revive one of the most iconic rivalries in tennis history, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras met on Earls Court in the main event of the World Tennis Day London showdown. These two Americans played each other 34 times during their professional careers, with Sampras winning 20 of those matches.
While Sampras held a dominant lead over his rival back in their professional days, Agassi was the sharper of the two in the opening stages of the match, breaking Sampras early on to lead 3-0. While Sampras gradually improved throughout the set, he was unable to recover the lost break and eventually dropped the set 6-3.
The second set was a far more competitive one, with Sampras getting confident with his serve and holding comfortably. While Sampras had a couple of set points at 5-4, Agassi would hold serve and force a tiebreaker. The eight time Grand Slam champion would dominate the tiebreak, allowing Sampras to only win one point in the process.
New York – Madison Square Garden
Bob and Mike Bryan def. John and Patrick McEnroe 8-6
John and Patrick McEnroe had a tough battle on their hands in New York as the duo had to face the world No. 1 doubles team in Bob and Mike Bryan – who also happen to be 20 years younger than the older McEnroe brother. John, who had recently made headlines with his harsh comments towards doubles competition in the 21st century, would soon realize that younger pair were out win convincingly.
The Bryan brothers rushed to a 3-0 lead in the first few minutes of the match, only allowing the McEnroes one point in the process. They would later take that lead to 7-0, before John and Patrick stormed back to win the next three games to limit the damage. The following game was a close one, with Patrick saving a match point before succumbing to world No. 1 duo 8-3 in the showdown.
Novak Djokovic def. Andy Murray 6-3, 7-6(2)
The main contest of the evening featured a fantastic battle between two competitors with a riveting rivalry in Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. It was the first time they met this year, and while it was not a professional match, it still featured a fair amount of impressive shotmaking, topped with Djokovic’s memorable sense of humour. The two players even made time in the second set to take a selfie and post it on twitter.
6th-ranked Murray took an early lead in the opening set, jumping to a 2-0 lead before Djokovic stormed back to lead 3-2. Murray would only manage another game in the set, succumbing 6-3. He would take another early lead in the second set but would once again fail to consolidate the break, allowing Djokovic back in the set. Murray jumped to a 5-3 lead but failed to serve out the set, and would eventually lose the tiebreak 7-2 in the final showdown contest of 2014.