The Greenbrier welcomes Williams sisters for Champions Tennis Classic


The Creekside Champions Tennis Classic took place last weekend at the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

Among multiple professional participants were tennis icons—and sisters—Venus Williams and Serena Williams. Venus appeared in the tournament for the third-straight year, while Serena participated for the first time.  Marat Safin, Carlos Moya, Kevin Anderson, and Marcos Baghdatis competed alongside the Williams sisters Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday, Serena and Venus faced off in a singles match, with Venus winning in three sets. After Venus won the first set 6-3, Serena answered with a 6-2 set win and tied the match. Venus won the tiebreaker 10-8 and defeated her sister for the 13th time on record.

“We play around the world, but we don’t get to play in towns and cities like this,” Serena said following the match.

Later in the tournament, male tennis professionals Anderson and Baghdatis competed in a singles match. Anderson, who is ranked No. 5 in men’s singles by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), won the match in three sets.

“One of the main reasons you play this exhibition is to make the crowd happy,” Baghdatis said. “You want to make them enjoy it and that’s one way of me enjoying it personally. That’s why I wanted to come here and give that to the crowd.”

Sunday began with the Legends Singles Match between male professionals Moya and Safin. Moya, who won the 1998 French Open, defeated the former ATP No. 1-ranked Safin 2-1 (6-3, 3-6, 1-0).

After Moya won game one and Safin won game two, Moya broke the tie in game three. In the fourth game, Safin was up 40-15 and Moya started a comeback to even the match. Moya answered in game five with another win and took the first set lead, 3-2. However, Safin answered with a win in game six.  Game seven went to Moya and game eight went to Safin. Moya took game nine and the first set.

Safin took the second set, 6-3, over Moya. Safin started off with a 3-0 lead before Moya won his first game. Safin would go on to take games five, seven, and nine to win the second set.

The tiebreaker went to Moya, who won the set, 10-7. He would maintain the lead for the entire game.

Later in the day, Venus Williams and Baghdatis faced Serena Williams and Anderson in a mixed doubles match. It was an exhibition match in which players performed dance moves and trick shots. Baghdatis interacted with the crowd by telling jokes and performing secret plays with Venus. At one point, Serena brought her daughter onto the court.

The first set went to Serena Williams and Anderson with the 7-5 win over Venus Williams and Baghdatis. The second set also went to Serena Williams and Anderson (6-3) on a comeback from Venus Williams and Baghdatis’ 2-0 game start.

“We’re taking a little bit of a break,” Anderson said. “Obviously we’re still here and still competing but I think the general atmosphere is a bit more relaxing than being on the tour. It’s a nice little getaway.”

This is the seventh year that The Greenbrier has played host to the Champions Tennis Classic.

Sydney Shelton can be contacted at [email protected]