Two of the ATP Champions Tour’s most colourful and entertaining characters have confirmed their place in this year’s field for the Brodies Champions of Tennis in Edinburgh.
Goran Ivanisevic and Henri Leconte have confirmed their involvement in this year’s tournament being held at Raeburn Place from 19-22 June.
Flamboyant Frenchman Leconte said: 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.”
Returning for his second year to Edinburgh, 2001 Wimbledon champion Ivanisevic 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!”
Leconte last played in Edinburgh in the Scottish Open at Craiglockhart in 1987, while Ivanisevic is playing for his second time after being a real hit with the crowd at last year’s event and reaching the semi-finals.
Tournament director Viki Mendelssohn said: “I am looking forward to welcoming Henri this year, he is a real character and with himself and Goran around, I suspect there are going to be plenty of entertaining moments. Both players bring a sense of humour onto the court, but when the first ball is served - it is game on.”
Meanwhile, world No 1 and defending champion Serena Williams suffered a shock first-round defeat to Jana Cepelova at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston.
The American top seed was seen off in straight sets as her Slovakian opponent recorded a 6-4, 6-4 victory in an hour and 25 minutes to move into the second round.
The disappointed three-time winner here admitted she had difficulty with her serve during the match, and she told familycirclecup.com: “I think she was a great counter-puncher today.
“I was really struggling with my serve. I didn’t really get any big ones in, so I took the pace off. It wasn’t my day. It wasn’t meant to be.”
Eugenie Bouchard advanced to the third round with a convincing win over Alla Kudryavtseva. The Canadian needed just 58 minutes to overwhelm the Russian qualifier 6-2, 6-0.
Samantha Stosur, who beat the sixth seed in the final of the HP Open last year, is also safely through following a 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 victory over Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan, but eighth seed Sorana Cirstea was dumped out following a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-0) defeat against Teliana Pereira.