Tennis legends tournament eyes switch to Edinburgh

Organisers of a major tennis tournament featuring some of the game’s biggest legends are looking at bringing the event back to Edinburgh.

John McEnroe previously appeared at the event. Picture: Getty

The Brodies Tennis Invitational, part of the annual ATP Champions Tour which has included names like John McEnroe and Mats Wilander, has been held successfully at Gleneagles for the past five years. But organisers have confirmed investigations are under way into the feasibility of taking the event to the capital next year.

The Scotsman has learned they have contacted the city council to explore the possibilities and the Meadows is one potential location. The events team is understood to be examining building a court with a covered canopy. But there is a council-imposed limit on the number of events allowed on the Meadows – which has 16 courts open to the public – and it is not known how that could affect the proposal.

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The invitational, which takes place in June in the run-up to Wimbledon, is the only Scottish leg of the ATP Champions Tour, an international tour by men’s former professionals who have retired from the mainstream championships.

Other previous stars who have taken part include Tim Henman, Thomas Muster, Henri Leconte and Xavier Malisse. Around 1,500 people attended the 2019 invitational at Gleneagles across three days.

The matches – described as nostalgic, competitive and entertaining – attract wide interest, but organisers are keen to increase the numbers.

A spokeswoman for Brodies said: “The Brodies Tennis Invitational aims to showcase Scotland as a destination for world-class sporting events. For the last five years, the event has taken place at the Gleneagles Arena in Auchterarder. This is a fantastic venue and remains a very real option for the 2020 event. Our ambition for the event is to develop and grow it. We have achieved that year on year by listening to feedback from attendees, players and event partners.

“One option that has emerged relating to the development of the event is to bring it to Edinburgh. We are currently engaged in a feasibility study to determine whether that is possible. When looking at alternative locations our main consideration at this early stage is to ensure that any potential site can accommodate an undercover, weatherproof court and has good access. Our initial feasibility exercise involves talking to the owners of a number of different venues.”

A previous event – run by a different organiser and known as Champions of Tennis – ran into problems the last time it was in Edinburgh. In 2014, the event was cancelled after problems with a temporary court.