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MaliVai Washington to Debut on Outback Senior Tour

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

He reached the Wimbledon final and climbed as high as No. 11 on the ATP Rankings before a knee injury cut his pro tennis career short. He last took to the court in a pro event in 1999 when, after surgery and a long rehab effort, first-round losses in his first two events at Newport and Cincinnati convinced him to hang up his racquets.

His knee still only feels "OK," but eight years out of tennis, and watching friends such as Todd Martin and other Americans take to the senior tour, has stoked Washington's competitive fires for a return.Since hanging up his racquets the Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. resident has put his efforts into establishing the highly-successful MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation that among other things provides tennis and tutoring for inner-city Jacksonville children, and also into starting up a real estate business. Now he will take to the courts -- the grasscourts -- at the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Aug. 22 for the Outback Champions Tour's Gibson Guitar Champions Cup in Newport, R.I."Making my debut in the Outback Champions Series will be exciting," Washington said. "It's a chance to get back out on the court having been away from competitive tennis for several years. The funny thing is that the draw will look just like it did when I was on tour full-time. These are the guys I won and lost against my entire career."In Washington's round robin group will be Jim Courier, Todd Martin and Richard Krajicek who beat Washington in the Wimbledon final in 1996. In the opposing group will be former Wimbledon champs John McEnroe and Pat Cash, former No. 1 Mats Wilander and South African Wayne Ferreira. Washington originally injured his knee in a Davis Cup match for the U.S., beating Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil.
"Playing competitive tennis is such an adrenaline rush for me so it will be great to get on the court and compete," Washington said. "I just wish I could do some of the things I use to do on the court well. I can still do those things today, I just can't do it as often."
Source - TennisX.com

Posted by Shelia

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