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Media release from Canterbury Tennis & NCC (New Zealand) Ltd ~ 14 January 2004

John McEnroe and Pat Cash in Mercedes Challenge Westpac Centre in Christchurch on 2 February Rugby greats in celebrity doubles - Andrew Mehrtens & McEnroe vs Cash & Wallabies centre Tim Horan

Wallaby centre Tim Horan has been confirmed as the partner for Pat Cash against John McEnroe and Andrew Mehrtens in the celebrity doubles feature games as part of the Mercedes Challenge being held at the Westpac Centre in Christchurch on 2 February.

David Blackwell, executive director of Canterbury Tennis, is delighted he has two of the big names in rugby playing on the courts.

"Horan is the world's greatest mid-field back and Mehrtens is the world's greatest ever 1st five eight, and by teaming Cash and Horan I'm sure we'll get some legendry Trans-Tasman rugby rivalry on the tennis court. It'll increase the excitement levels on and off court and I know we'll get fantastic crowd support to make it harder for those Aussies!"" David Blackwell said. The main match will be a three set clash between McEnroe and Cash, both former Wimbledon champions.

Mehrts makes history by playing doubles with his second World No 1

Although the headline act is the world's biggest name in tennis, John McEnroe, playing former Wimbledon, Aussie champion Pat Cash in the best of three sets for the Mercedes Challenge, for Andrew Mehrtens it is proud personal history in the making. It will be second time that he will have partnered a former great Wimbledon champion and World No 1 player in front of his home crowd.

This time he's playing with McEnroe. In 2000 Mehrtens played with former world tennis great Steffi Graf on her world farewell tour, again at the Westpac Centre - against Jalena Dokic and Matthew Ridge. Mehrtens was shaking with nervousness before the match, then played a fast and skill level that surprised most of the crowd, and afterwards told the packed press conference it was something he would tell his grandchildren about!

Now he joins with McEnroe to play Pat Cash and Wallaby centre Tim Horan, with some trans-Tasman pride to salvage after the Rugby World Cup. Organisers Canterbury Tennis Inc and venue manager NCC (New Zealand) Ltd are hoping for a capacity 6200 crowd for the 2 February sports event.

Tickets are on sale through Ticketek including a $19 child's ticket, aimed at encouraging junior players to attend.


For more information please contact David Blackwell, Executive Director Canterbury Tennis on phone ext 17 or mobile