Wilander and Wawrinka named 2013 World Tennis Challenge Champions
Friday 11 January 2013 2 Comments »
Spain’s Nicolas Almagro world number 11, was first up on court one facing Stan Wawrinka .
Wawrinka failed to dent the Spaniard who won the pro set 8-5.
Viktor Troicki  took on the wildly unpredictable Alexandr Dolgopolov  in the evening’s other opener and served superbly to come through 8-5.
The battle of the Swedish Legends followed, Mats Wilander and Mikael Pernfors, just one year apart in age but who curiously had only played each other three times professionally, Wilander the winner on two previous occasions.
Pernfors though rose to the occasion for his first win of the week, by 8-4, with Wilander calling for the physio on court for a back problem late on in the set.
Henri Leconte was unable to stand firm against the mighty serving of local favourite Wayne Arthurs, a first meeting between the two grandees. The game was all square until 4-4 when Arthurs upped his pace to take the set 8-6.
Last up, a mixed doubles of almost celestial potential, Martina Navratilova pairing with Henri Leconte, and Martina Hingis alongside Mansour Bahrami across the net. Trickery and faux gamesmanship was to the fore always but didn’t disguise the quite sublime skills of all four opponents, Hingis and Bahrami the eventual winners here 6-4.
Meanwhile on court two, Almagro and Dolgopolov missed four consecutive points in a lengthy, match defining tie-break before coming through 6-5(10) against Wawrinka and Troicki.
Finally a bonus for the fans as the two Martinas teamed up to play an interchanging combination of the four male legends, a real crowd pleaser and true to the spirit of the week, the ladies emerging easy winners 6-1.
And when it came to totting up the wins, Team Wilander (Wilander and Wawrinka), came forward to receive the World Tennis Challenge trophy 2013.