Aussie Legends Set For Major Tennis Showdown
Two tennis icons have just been announced to compete against each other in New Zealand for the first time, in a brand new exhibition event this October. The Champions Cup will be held for one night only at Auckland’s The Trusts Arena, providing tennis fans a star-studded event with former world number ones and multiple Grand Slam winners.
Australian legends Lleyton Hewitt and Pat Rafter, with their 4 Grand Slam singles titles between them, will go head-to-head in an action-packed feature singles match. With Hewitt still active as Davis Cup captain, and Pat Rafter constantly training alongside a number of up-and-coming players, the match is primed to bring together two of the game’s greats. With Rafter’s serve and volley style, and Hewitt’s hallmark tenacity from the baseline, the centre-court showdown will give fans a taste of a Wimbledon or U.S. Open final – both of which have been won by Hewitt, with Rafter winning two U.S. Opens.
The event, primed for Thursday 12 October, will also include an action-packed ‘Fast Fours’ doubles match, with a New Zealand pairing going up against the champions for the ultimate NZ vs Australia doubles spectacular. There will also be a junior showcase of some of Aotearoa’s promising talent, and chances for fans to win once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to get up-close-and-personal with the players.
Lleyton Hewitt said that he can’t wait to play in Auckland. “I’m really looking forward to playing in New Zealand. I’ve never had the chance to play there, so it’s great to be going there for the first time to play a great player like Pat. He’s a tough opponent, even if he’s got a few years on me! It’ll be an awesome night of tennis, so I can’t wait to get there to put on a great show.”
Rafter is just as focussed. “I can’t wait to play again in NZ, one of my favourite places in the world and I get to play my old mate, Lleyton. I am training hard, staying fit and hitting plenty of tennis balls to get ready for this, so let’s have some fun!”
Organisers, Events Innovated, say they want the event to add to the tennis offering in New Zealand, and provide another world-class level experience for the tennis community. “It’s definitely a great addition to the tennis and sports scene here. And in October, it’s a fantastic way to launch the start of the traditional summer tennis season. The event is something a little different, these players have never competed against each other here and there hasn’t been an international tennis exhibition event in NZ for many years.”
Tennis New Zealand are right behind the event, providing the portable court used for Davis Cup ties, to be laid inside The Trusts Arena in a first for the venue. They say that the Champions Cup will provide another key element in a packed summer of tennis in New Zealand.
Held indoors at The Trusts Arena in Auckland, spectators will be seated right around the court for incredible viewing from the stands. As well as various grandstand passes, there will also be corporate hospitality available, although availability is strictly limited.
“We are maximising the space as much as possible, but it’s still going to be a very intimate and close-to-the-action experience for the fans. It’s an ideal arena for the event in that sense, as every spectator will have a great view of the players on centre-court. So it’s very much ‘get in quick’ as it’s one-night-only and we can’t add seats or dates once it’s full,” say organisers.
The pre-sale starts this Wednesday 9 August at 9am, with general public sales available Friday 11 August at 9am. Information and bookings are available at www.championscup.co.nz