Vilas: Senior tennis like a classic Ferrari

Senior tennis is like a 1960s Ferrari, the fastest thing in its time, but nowhere near as powerful as today's models, tennis player Guillermo Vilas said today.

Senior tennis is like a 1960s Ferrari, the fastest thing in its time, but nowhere near as powerful as today's models, tennis player Guillermo Vilas said today.

In Singapore for the M1 Classic which is part of the Seniors Tour, the Argentine spoke about the difference between the style of tennis these days and when he was competing on the regular circuit.

"We used to play with a wooden racquet, now there are bigger racquets that allow players more control and a bigger sweet spot, before you had to have a good serve and a good volley," said Vilas, at 47 the oldest player on the tour.

"I think the speeds (of serves today) are magnificent they are very very fast. Matches are shorter, but that's modern times. You can't expect people to play the same - like a Ferrari in (the) 1960s, it was the fastest car of its time, but not as powerful as the Ferrari of today," he told reporters.

As well as Vilas, Australians Peter McNamara and John Fitzgerald, Swedes Mikael Perfors and Mats Wilander, Mansour Bahrami of Iran, Vijay Amritraj of India and Frenchman Henri Leconte will be competing in the three-day tournament.

Leconte kept the audience entertained during the press conference as he pulled faces, distracted his colleagues and made funny remarks during speeches.

Leconte does not expect an easy time defending his title. "It will be more difficult this year," he said, then added "Uncle Willy is here", referring to Vilas.

Being over 35 years of age is the only requirement to compete on the seniors tour, and the group was obviously at ease with each other, having played together on the regular tour.

"Age brings experience, you need experience to play in the senior tour," said Wilander, who joined it this year.

"These are the guys I played most in my career, it's more fun playing them than it is playing (Pete) Sampras or (Andre) Agassi, I prefer this tour."

And while tennis remains their number one passion, other responsibilities now claim the players' minds.

"I brought two kids with me," Wilander, a father of four said.

"The more time I spend at the tournament the less time I have to spend taking them to the zoo."

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