Legends were a smash

The presence of past tennis greats made for an interesting weekend.

Great names from the past like Jimmy Arias, Jim Courier, Mikael Penfors and Wayne Ferreira took the court at The Residences at The Ritz Carlton for the annual Legends Championship.

For four days the legends were the centre of attention at and away from centre court.

Locals were buzzing about getting the chance to meet those greats from yesteryear and the rest were pleased to get a chance to catch them in live action again.

Adding to the hype was the chance for the Legends to compete for some $150,000 in prize money.

Going to the match would prove to be a treat in itself. Ample parking, plenty of seats with a great view and a well-stocked concession area all helped to combat the sweltering heat of the day games.

Fans would also see plenty of TV crews around the court and chances for random prizes.

From the moment greats like Ferreira, Mats Wilander and Mark Philippoussis hit the clay court on Thursday evening it was obvious they were here to win and entertain.

Those feelings passed onto Friday’s action as fellow greats Pat Cash, Karel Novacek and Courier hit the court in fine fashion.

Saturday saw the introduction of exhibition doubles matches and the highlight of those games was the compelling match featuring duo Pernfors and Wilander against Ferreira and Novacek.

Those older statesmen simply put on a show. From the combination of trick shots (including between-the-legs returns and underhand serves) to fearsome smashes and skilful dives for the ball the legends looked like energetic 20-year-olds again.

The semi-finals of the singles event turned up the intensity a notch. Cash and Arias went into the match in a serious mood. Arias was intense enough that he came off like a mild impersonation of John McEnroe yelling out to fans to stay in their seats and screaming words of frustration.

From there Sunday’s final matches would bring a spectacular close to the competition with Jim Courier and Jimmy Arias battling it out for the title which Courier won.

Ultimately fans were treated to a smashing good time at the Ritz and Cayman can feel good about hosting such enthralling tennis once again.

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