The Senior Tour organisational committee has announced that former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash will be the latest star to take part in the Vale do Lobo Grand Champions event from August 2 to 5. Other big names present in the Algarve are ex-World No. 1s John McEnroe, Mats Wilander and Jim Courier as well as Emilio Sanchez, Paul Haarhuis, Carl-Uwe Steeb and Portugal’s Nuno Marques. His compatriot and regular participant in the tournament, João Cunha e Silva will only be a reserve this time.
Meanwhile, Wimbledon preparations are in full swing. Paris hero ‘Rafa’ Nadal found the transition from clay to grass difficult, going out 6-4, 5-7, 3-6 to Germany’s unconsidered Alexander Waske in Round 2 of the Halle Gerry Weber Open. The final produced a rematch of the Australian Open semifinal between Roger Federer and Marat Safin. This time, Federer got his revenge in three sets 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 to take the title.
At Queen’s, Tim Henman produced his usual early flourish before submitting tamely to Thomas Johansson in the quarters. Three-time winner Lleyton Hewitt looked short of match fitness as Andy Roddick powered his way into his third successive final, where he met giant Croat Ivo Karlovic, standing at 2.08 metres. Undaunted, the American won via two tiebreaks, 7-6, 7-6 to emulate McEnroe and Hewitt in winning three consecutive titles.
At Edgebaston in Birmingham, title holder and reigning Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova took on Jelena Jankovic in the final. The California-based Russian teenager came through 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 despite carrying a thigh injury.