TWO of the ATP Champion Tour's most colourful characters will play in Edinburgh this summer.
Henri Leconte and Goran Ivanisevic have both confirmed their involvement in the Brodies Champions of Tennis event at Edinburgh Academical FC from June 19 to 22. Thomas Enqvist, the Swede who won the inaugural event last year, will defend his title.
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Leconte and Ivanisevic bring the promise of entertainment to Edinburgh. The Frenchman first came to the tennis world's attention as a hugely talented youngster who won the French Open junior title in 1981.
His breakthrough year was 1986 when he reached two grand slam semi-finals, at the French Open and Wimbledon, and attained his career-high singles ranking of No.5. His biggest achievement came in 1988 when he reached the French Open final where he was defeated by Mats Wilander in straight sets.
Leconte helped France win the Davis Cup in 1991, when he defeated Pete Sampras in straight sets in a singles rubber and also teamed-up with Guy Forget to win the doubles. He retired from professional tennis in 1996.
"Wherever we go, we try to play good tennis but have fun on the court and with the spectators," said Leconte, whose last visit to Edinburgh was in 1987 when he participated in the pre-Wimbledon Bank of Scotland Grasscourt Championships.
"The ATP Champions Tour has given us a second chance to continue our rivalries and to play the sport that we love. I am really looking forward to coming to Edinburgh. All of the players last year told me good stories about it and I can't wait to be there."
Ivanisevic, the 2001 Wimbledon champion, said: "I loved the tournament in Edinburgh last year and I can't wait to go back. It is a beautiful city and this year I am going to bring some Croatian weather with me. The matches will be competitive, but we also like to have fun."
The Croat has a place in history that will be difficult to wrest from his grasp. Ranked 125 in 2001, he was awarded a wildcard to Wimbledon where he beat Pat Rafter of Australia in final. Ivanisevic was the lowest-ranked player and the first wildcard entry to win Wimbledon.