McCann takes on the best
If someone told Neil McCann a year ago he’d be in America today having a shot at a world title, he wouldn’t have believed them.
But, that’s exactly what he’s doing. Ashburton’s McCann is in Miami, Florida, competing at the ITF World Seniors tennis team’s event this week, and next week he’ll take part in the world seniors individual tournament. He has no real expectation of how he’ll go, but he’s determined to give it his best shot, because it’s likely to be his only shot.
McCann, 52, decided to put his name forward for selection following a stellar season where he won two national titles, and was named Mid Canterbury’s sportsperson of the year.
‘‘I won the nationals in Christchurch this year in the singles, and the doubles with Andre (van Rooyen), and one thing just led on to the next.’’
In Florida he’s having to deal with hot, humid weather, as well as getting used to playing on the unfamiliar clay surface; that’s the biggest challenge, McCann said.
Just like the ATP pro tour, there’s rankings on the seniors circuit, and McCann is currently ranked 166th in the world, despite only having made a handful of appearances at tournaments.
To play world seniors events regularly would be great, but it isn’t realistic.
‘‘If you are really keen to do it and you’ve got the time, and the money, it’s there for you,’’ he said.
Ashburton’s Neil McCann is in America this week at the ITF World Seniors Tennis Championships.