Stefan Edberg is living up to the hype in the Legends Tennis Championship.
Edberg, 46, defeated American Thomas Blake, 34, 8-5 on Wednesday to secure a finals berth in the men’s singles division. The Swede will battle South African Wayne Ferreira, 41, on Friday, 2 November, at The Courts at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.
Edberg states the contest will resurrect an old rivalry.
“Wayne and I have played a couple of times on the pro tour,” Edberg said. “He won a couple of times, I won a couple of times. It’s going to be a tough match in the final but I’m looking forward to it.”
This year marks the first time the multiple Grand Slam winner has played in Cayman. Edberg would display moves reminiscent of his playing days years ago. Many, like Blake, were impressed by Edberg’s performance.
“I used to watch Stefan growing up, the way he volleys is incredible,” Blake said. “It’s incredible what he’s doing. He’s great at it and he has still got it.”
Ferreira, the defending singles champion, earned his spot by defeating local player Ilian Nachev 8-2. Nachev, who is originally from Bulgaria, defeated Mica Koll on Tuesday to become the Cayman qualifier.
Many Cayman smashers shined on Wednesday. Daniel Reid bested Callum Theaker 8-0 in the junior match. Mike Bonikowski and Richard Harrison took part in the mixed doubles segment, though they were upstaged by Ferreira and Brazilian Liz Bogarin, 19, by a score of 8-1.
While Thomas Neuert and Adam Bayley lost to Martina Hingis and Murphy Jensen 8-5 in a mixed doubles match, it was arguably the tournament’s most entertaining contest. Jimmy Arias served as umpire and spiced things up with his comedic remarks.
Matches continue on Friday from 6pm. The highlight will be the celebrity tennis game featuring Sir Richard Branson and Greg Norman.