Tenniszine - UK tennis blog.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Seniors Masters Tour at the Royal Albert Hall

On Friday I spent the afternoon with my daughter at the Royal Albert Hall in London for the Masters tennis from the Seniors Delta Tour of Champions.

We saw Courier v Pioline and Bruguera v Jarryd. Two matches of contrasting styles.

Courier beat Pioline 6-4 7-5 and his legendary inside out forehand was working well, as was his serve. Pioline on the other hand was not at his best at the net and his serve was not firing well enough to serve-volley. Even so, Courier was made to work for his win. Power was most evidence in this match.

Bruguera beat Jarryd 6-4 6-4 and I was stunned by his magical clay-court style albeit on a medium fast indoor hard court surface. He mixed heavy top spin on both sides with slice also on both sides (forehand too), and showed deft touches with lobs and drop shots. Jarryd was uneasy coping with the heavy topspin, and this was something that pinned Jarryd back such that he was unable to effectively show his skill at the net from being a former world no.1 at doubles. This was a match of skill and finesse.

Tomorrow in one semi-final Courier will face McEnroe who beat Muster, much to my surprise. Just goes to show what a competitor and tennis player McEnroe is. In the other semi-final Bruguera takes on Haarhuis who as I remember used to be Sampras' nemesis.

The matches were played with the hawk-eye line system. The players were able to challenge calls they thought were incorrect. Courier asked for a few and was right about half of the time and it was the same case for Bruguera. It was interesting to see Bruguera apologized at one stage to Jarryd for incorrectly challenging a call.

We also saw an 'entertaining' doubles match with Chris Wilkinson and Henri Leconte v Mikael Pernfors and Joakim Nystrom. Chris Wilkinson, former UK no.1 and current over-35 world champion played very solidly and Henry Leconte showed his usual skill despite growing midriff, and they really won quite comfortably 6-1 6-4.


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