29 Aug 2008

New veterans tournament includes Borg and Sampras

6:11 am on 29 August 2008

Eight former world number ones, including Americans John McEnroe and Pete Sampras and Swedes Bjorn Borg and Stefan Edberg, are to square off against each other in a new team tennis competition.

Called the Kings Cup, "Team America", led by captain Roy Emerson, the Australian who won 12 grand-slam titles, will take on "Team Europe", led by Romanian Ilie Nastase, over three days in Malaysia this November in a singles and doubles format.

McEnroe said at the launch that he was happy to be in the same team as Sampras.

Borg, who was number one for 109 weeks, will be joined by fellow Swedes Edberg, Wilander and an as-yet unnamed wildcard for the inaugural event, which will be held annually.

Chilean Marcelo Rios, the only men's number one to have never won a grand-slam event, will join McEnroe, Sampras and one wildcard in the Team America side.

In the 35 years since the inception of the world rankings, only 24 men have had the distinction of being world number one. Tournament organisers said that in future years, other members of the 24-strong number one gang are expected to take part.