The rallies are a bit shorter, there are fewer clear winners, serve and volley looks slower, and no need to measure the speed of serve (as only a couple would probably go over 100mph). Oh yes, and you can spot a grey hair or two on the players’ heads.
Powershares series tour. One of the senior tennis events, the other ones being the ATP Seniors Tour and Champions Tour organized by Mansour Bahrami, where former ATP Tour stars can still compete (although in a less serious fashion). “Hey Mardy, it’s senior tennis we are playing now. People can walk around and it does not bother us anymore” – yielded Andy Roddick to his buddy (and on that day tournament opponent) – Mardy Fish.
But the resumes of the players are very impressive. Hardly any of the Tour participants do not have a Grand Slam title or number one ATP ranking (or in many cases both) under his belt. And they still can hit the ball, and enjoy a friendly rivalry. But the Tour is relatively serious. Mats Wilander once told me how one of the main features on the Tour – John McEnroe is serious about being fit, still practices on a regular basis (and demands this from others) and has the occasional argument with an umpire.
And despite the fact that some of the spectators want to see and hear a recreation of the ever famous “you cannot be serious”, they’d rather witness a legendary serve and volley game, a delicate placement of returns, and probably the best volleys in the history of the game. And Powershares series tour delivers just that. Perhaps even more.
An evening of tennis legends squeezed into three short matches (two semi-finals, then the final with the winner determined after only a one set battle) provides a very entertaining few hours of high level tennis, friendly competition, laughs, and an opportunity to see those who not a very long time ago dominated the tennis courts worldwide. John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Pete Sampras, Michael Chang, Ivan Lendl, Marat Safin – these are just a few names of the players. Most recently Powershares series attracted a couple of recently retired players – James Blake and Mark Philipoussis, and they too bring an excitement and a good level of tennis to the show. With the regular ATP Tour players like Federer, Haas or even Nadal playing well into their late thirties, the oldest of them all – a 58 year old John McEnroe might have to put his plans of tennis retirement on hold. At least for a few years.
And you never know what will you witness during these matches. It can be another powerful serve by Roddick, a brilliant angle volley by McEnroe, a long grinding rally as a few years ago in Buffalo – a shocker to all who witness it – a smiling Ivan Lendl.