Wanna feel old? Kim Clijsters is playing in the French Open legends event

PARIS – The immovable force meets the unstoppable object, and something has to give.

How can we all be staying the same age and yet the senior players – the legends, as they like to call them – keep getting younger and younger at Grand Slam events?

The newest entry into the "barely retired but already out there with the fogies" department is Kim Clijsters, who has been around the grounds supporting countrywomen Yanina Wickmayer and BFF Kristen Flipkens this week.

She's 30.

But Clijsters will be back on court for real as a legend. And she's playing doubles with Martina Navratilova.

That's a treat.

Here are the teams scheduled to compete during the second week, when the singles dwindle down but the courts of Roland Garros continue to buzz with doubles, juniors and former stars.

American Lindsay Davenport has often played these events with Martina Hingis in recent years but as we know, Hingis is a little busy on the kid's tour these days. Davenport teams up with old (not OLD old, but former) partner Mary Joe Fernandez in a Tennis Channel/ESPN2 cooperative effort.

French Davis Cup captain Arnaud Clément, who also is just barely retired, also makes his Legend-ary debut. The brothers McEnroe, who are a treat to watch, are also in the field as is little-known 2004 French Open champion Gaston Gaudio, who is playing with Fernando Verdasco's coach, Thomas Enqvist.


Kim Clijsters (BEL) / Martina Navratilova (USA)
Iva Majoli (CRO) / Anastasia Myskina (RUS)
Conchita Martinez (ESP) / Nathalie Tauziat (FRA)

Lindsay Davenport (USA) / Mary Joe Fernandez (USA)
Nathalie Dechy (FRA) / Sandrine Testud (FRA)
Natasha Zvereva (BLR) / Jana Novotna (CZE)

Men - Over 35s

Arnaud Clément (FRA) / Nicolas Escudé (FRA)
Albert Costa (ESP) / Carlos Moya (ESP)
Thomas Enqvist (SWE) / Gaston Gaudio (ARG)
Sébastien Grosjean (FRA) / Fabrice Santoro (FRA)
Sergi Bruguera (ESP) / Andrei Medvedev (UKR)
Goran Ivanisevic (CRO) / Todd Woodbridge (AUS)

Men - Over 45s

Andres Gomez (ECU) / Mark Woodforde (AUS)
Michael Pernfors (SWE) / Mats Wilander (SWE)
Mansour Bahrami (IRI) / Cédric Pioline (FRA)
John McEnroe (USA) / Patrick McEnroe (USA)
Pat Cash (AUS) / Paul Haarhuis (NED)
Guy Forget (FRA) / Henri Leconte (FRA)

If you want a culture shock, there are two players in the field who, just a couple of weeks ago, were in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., playing in the ITF senior world championships.

Pernfors barely broke a sweat in winning the men's over 50 division. France's Testud, in the over-40 women's division, didn't drop a set in winning the singles title and the mixed doubles title with 50-year-old Edoardo Mazza of Italy.

Most of the players they were playing in that tournament were very good players back in the day, some former pros and college players. But a lot of them were very good club players who have taken it a step further and gone competitive on the seniors circuit to challenge themselves and represent their countries.

To go from that to playing Kim Clijsters or the McEnroe brothers on the famed courts of Roland Garros tells you something about how tennis is tennis, and players just like to play.

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