Jim Courier and Monica Seles played tennis in a Manhattan intersection

NEW YORK – London isn’t the only metropolis with big-time grass tennis courts this week.

Hundreds on onlookers stopped to stare as former pros Jim Courier and Monica Seles volleyed on a temporary court constructed in the small sliver between Broadway and Fifth Avenue in the shadow of New York City’s famed Flatiron Building. The court, which will be open through Thursday, is available on a first-come, first-serve basis for singles players as part of the “HSBC Serves Up the Perfect Day at Wimbledon” event.

Fans who don’t get on the court are able to watch live action from the All England Club, where Seles reached the women’s singles final at Wimbledon in 1992, followed by Courier in the men’s in 1993.

“It was a year that it didn’t rain much. It played like a hard court so I was able to play more my style.” Courier told For The Win. “I’m not a natural serve and volley-er, which 20 years ago you needed to be. The surface has changed since then. It was very much a low bouncing, aggressive favoring surface. Now players can play from the baseline and be successful and net rushers struggle. I needed good conditions to play well. I needed to make more adjustments for that surface than any other I played in.”

Courier also discussed two-time champion Rafael Nadal’s surprising first-round loss to Steve Darcis, with Courier wondering how much Nadal’s knee issues factored into the performance.

“I don’t think his game is in decline whatsoever,” Courier said. “What he did since his comeback has proven that. He played nine tournaments prior to Wimbledon and was in nine finals and won seven of those including the French. He’s going to have to schedule appropriately for what his body can take, which means playing less and being more selective and trusting himself that he doesn’t have to play as many tournaments to be in great shape.”

Seles, who now plays tennis frequently for recreation, doesn’t see any similarly high-profile upsets happening on the women’s side.

“I think the bottom half you have a Sharapova-Azarenka semi but you also have Kvitova and you can’t forget she won Wimbledon a few years back,” Seles said. “She’s a tough lefty player and on grass lefties have a little bit of advantage. There’s not too many floaters in the draw where you can say I’m looking forward to this third round match. Then again it’s Wimbledon.”