LEGG MASON TENNIS CLASSIC 2011
Troicki, Tipsarevic, Blake & Gonzalez Meet Manchester United Stars
Washington DC, USA
by ATP Staff|
Fernando Gonzalez, James Blake, Viktor Troicki and Janko Tipsarevic imparted their tennis skills on Manchester United defenders Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic on Friday in Washington D.C., where the Legg Mason Tennis Classic will be contested next week.
English Premier League Champions Manchester United, who won a record 19th title last season, are in Washington for the final match of their pre-season tour on Saturday against Barcelona – a rematch of the UEFA Champions League final. A keen Manchester United fan, Troicki will watch the match at FedEx Field
After an initial hit on Friday afternoon, things soon got competitive as Vidic and Gonzalez, who was celebrating his 31st birthday, defeated Ferdinand and Blake in a friendly match. Former England captain Ferdinand later tweeted about the experience, “My partner let me down man....saying that though but I ACED Gonzalez....yes you read that right, I ACED a top 10 calibre player! POW!!!”
World No. 15 Troicki will begin his Olympus US Open Series campaign at the ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tournament next week. The Serbian reached his first final in Washington three years ago (l. to del Potro). His countryman Tipsarevic, currently a career-high No. 23 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings, is making his third event appearance.
Both Gonzalez and Blake are looking for wins in Washington as they attempt to climb back up the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings after falling down due to injury. Former finalist Gonzalez has dropped to World No. 297 after undergoing right hip surgery last October, while former World No. 4 Blake, the 2002 Washington winner, will hope to build on his strong ATP Challenger Tour results of late.
On Thursday, the Manchester United squad visited the White House, where they were allowed to wander around the rooms. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson later admitted, "It was fantastic, we all enjoyed it. It was fascinating. I'd been before but it still excites. It's such a historic and incredible place. We all enjoyed it - it was good."