2014/04/16

Courier Beats McEnroe To Pass PowerShares Series Test In Oklahoma City

Jim Courier

(February 6, 2014)OKLAHOMA CITY - Despite playing in Wimbledon, U.S., French and Australian Open 
finals, Jim Courier will tell you he also gets pre-match jitters before playing 
on the PowerShares Series tennis circuit.

Admitting to some first-event nervousness in Wednesday’s PowerShares Series 
opening event in Kansas City that ended in a semifinal loss to Michael Chang, 
Courier recalibrated Thursday in beating John McEnroe 6-2 in the one-set title 
match to win the Champions Cup at the Chesapeake Arena, home of the NBA’s 
Oklahoma City Thunder.

“It’s all about wanting to perform at your highest level,” Courier said of the 
source of his pre-match feeling of unease. “All of us suffer from anxiety about 
(playing at a top level) because this is a test out here. You have test anxiety 
when you go in. This is a pass-fail out here. There’s no ‘A’s or ‘B’s. It’s 
either pass or fail. I passed it tonight and I’m happy about that.”

Courier did not look himself in Wednesday’s 6-4 one-set semifinal loss to Chang, 
misfiring on his trademark inside-out forehand – while also playing without 
wearing his trademark baseball cap. On Thursday, Courier’s blistering 
groundstrokes – and his baseball cap – returned in avenging his loss to Chang 
6-2 in the semifinals before defeating McEnroe in the title match by the same 
score.

Against McEnroe, Courier lost only one point on his serve in his first three 
service games of the set and broke McEnroe to take a 4-2 lead. McEnroe, however, 
sensed the urgency of the service break and immediately pressured Courier in the 
following game, maneuvering himself to a break-point chance at 30-40, only to 
have Courier stifle it with a hard-hit first serve to McEnroe’s forehand wing 
that the left-handed was unable to control. Courier was able to hold serve and 
punctured the McEnroe serve once again in the next game, winning on his fourth 
match point opportunity.

“I was in really good rhythm with my serve and my forehand,” said Courier. 
“Those are the two keys for me. I like to hit my backhand with topspin, but on 
this court, playing John, he doesn’t give you much of a chance to. I’m digging 
the ball off my ankles. I need to be aggressive with the forehand to push him 
back off the net. Everyone can see what he can do once he is able to get the 
racquet on the ball up there.” 

McEnroe, at age 54, was looking to dominate the first two events on the 2014 
PowerShares Series, his 20th year of playing “champions” tournament tennis. In 
the semifinals earlier on Thursday against Ivan Lendl, McEnroe continued his 
recent near-mastery over his Czech-born rival winning for the fourth time in 
five career meetings on the PowerShares Series – and for the second time in two 
nights by an identical 6-4 scoreline. But despite the final-round loss, McEnroe 
sits atop the PowerShares Series points rankings after the first two events with 
600 points. Courier’s title places him in second place with 500 points, while 
Chang sits in third with 300 points.

The PowerShares Series, the U.S. tennis circuit for legend tennis players over 
the age of 30, continues Thursday, February 13 in Birmingham, Alabama when Andy 
Roddick makes his PowerShares Series debut and will be joined by McEnroe, 
Courier and Mark Philippoussis. Good tickets for all PowerShares Series events 
are still available starting at $25 at www.PowerSharesSeries.com. VIP packages – 
including meet-and-greet and play-with-the-pros on-court opportunities - are 
also available here http://m1e.net/c?117624096-WxU4LiHCyytOE%4073478786-x0G4.jmTcc3.c 
by email to VIP@insideoutse.com, or by phone at 253.315.4299.

The remaining 2014 Power Shares Series schedule with field of players are as 
follows:

Thursday, February 13, Birmingham, Alabama, Birmingham-Jefferson Convention 
Complex - John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis

Friday, February 14, Indianapolis, Bankers Life Fieldhouse – John McEnroe, Ivan 
Lendl, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis

Wednesday, February 19, Denver, Pepsi Center – Andy Roddick, James Blake, Jim 
Courier, Mark Philippoussis

Thursday, February 20, Houston, Toyota Center – Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Andy 
Roddick, James Blake

Tuesday, February 25, Salt Lake City, Energy Solutions Arena – Pete Sampras, 
John McEnroe, Jim Courier, James Blake

Wednesday, February 26, Sacramento, Sleep Train Arena – Pete Sampras, John 
McEnroe, Jim Courier, James Blake

Thursday, February 27, Portland, Moda Center – Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, Jim 
Courier, James Blake

Wednesday, March 12, Nashville, Bridgestone Arena – John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, 
Jimmy Connors, Pat Cash

Thursday, March 13, Charlotte, Time Warner Arena – John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, 
Jimmy Connors, Pat Cash

Friday, March 21, Surprise, Surprise Stadium – Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, Todd 
Martin, Michael Chang
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