Agassi, Roddick, and More Bring Menís Tennis Back to Charleston
By: Nick McCarvel
It’s been 12 years since professional men’s tennis has made its mark in South Carolina.
This year, it returns with the PowerShares Series at the Volvo Car Stadium, featuring Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish and James Blake competing in a nighttime showdown on Saturday, April 9th.
Back in 2004 was the last time the men touched down in Charleston, when Roddick, Blake and Fish were part of a victorious U.S. Davis Cup team that beat Belarus 4-0 inside Volvo Car Stadium.
“It was probably the most fun Davis Cup weekend we have ever had in terms of enjoying the city,” said Fish. “If you ask Andy and the Bryan brothers what their favorite time at a Davis Cup weekend was, I would be hard pressed to think that any of them would say anywhere other than Charleston.”
For Agassi, his return to Charleston has an even longer lead-time. It was April 1988 when he last played in the Lowcountry. He won the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships, a Grand Prix tennis tournament that was held on Isle of Palms.
The PowerShares Series will bring all four men to Charleston again to compete on its 12-city tour, which features a competitive tennis circuit with legendary icons and world-renowned champions. The event features fast-moving tennis in a one-set format: Players face off in a pair of single-set semifinals and then the winners battle it out in one-set final.
“Fans are going to see us go as hard as we can against each other,” explained Fish. “What’s cool about the PowerShares Series is the fact that you get to cross-generation battle. I think it’s really exciting to get the opportunity to play against Agassi.”
Roddick, for his part, is excited to return to a city that he and wife Brooklyn Decker almost called home.
“I always love coming back to Charleston, but these days I’m there more for golf than tennis,” admitted the 2003 U.S. Open champ. “Charleston has always been in our (mine and Brooklyn’s) top five places to live if it wasn’t Austin.”
So who emerges the winner?
“I am the favorite,” jokes Fish. “I am the Novak Djokovic of Champions Tennis! Bring on any and all comers...I am the closest retiree. That being said, I play the least amount of tennis. It will go quickly for me, but right now I’m the clear favorite.”
Regardless of who raises the trophy at the end of the night, this newcomer event to the Volvo Car Stadium is sure to be a hit with fans.