SPORTIME and the John McEnroe Tennis Academy Present Seventh Annual Scholarship Tryout and Athletic Scouting Combine at SPORTIME Randall’s Island, Saturday-Sunday, April 8-9
Tryout for Aspiring Tennis Players, Ages 6-16; Athletic Scouting Combine for Talented Young Athletes With Little or No Tennis Experience, Ages 5-10
Expanded To Two Days For 2017
SPORTIME/JMTA Coaches will Award Full and Partial Scholarships to Selected Tryout and Combine Participants for the 2017-18 Season at SPORTIME Randall’s Island.
New York, March 28, 2017– For the seventh consecutive year, young hopefuls from across the tri-state area will be out in force at SPORTIME Randall’s Island, the John McEnroe Tennis Academy’s (JMTA) flagship location, on Saturday and Sunday, April 8-9, as SPORTIME and JMTA coaches seek to discover untapped tennis and athletic talent.
The goal of both the Tryout and the Athletic Scouting Combine is to award full or partial scholarships to SPORTIME and JMTA programs at SPORTIME Randall’s Island, starting in fall 2017. The event is a joint initiative of SPORTIME/JMTA and the Johnny Mac Tennis Project (JMTP). A 501(c)(3) charity, JMTP changes young lives by removing the economic and social barriers to success through tennis. Offering free tennis programs and scholarships to under-resourced kids and dedicated athletes from the NY Metropolitan area, JMTP provides a pathway to success through competitive tennis, often leading to college scholarships, careers in the industry and, for a few, professional tennis careers.
Open only to players with tennis experience, ages 6-16, the Tryout will take place on Saturday, April 8 from 5:15 PM – 9:00 PM, with check-in at 5:00 PM. Participants will be evaluated by a Selection Committee, consisting of SPORTIME/JMTA directors, coaches and leaders, including Lawrence Kleger, JMTA Co-Director, and Patrick McEnroe, who recently joined JMTA as Lawrence’s Co-Director. The Tryout will include tennis and athletic drills and point/match play.
“The tryout and combine have become ‘can’t-miss’ events for aspiring young tennis players and athletes at various skill levels,” said JMTA Co-Director Lawrence Kleger. “It’s part of our mission to make tennis available to any talented player, regardless of financial means. We’re looking forward to a great weekend and an opportunity to meet new talented athletes.”
The Athletic Scouting Combine is open to kids, ages 5-10, with little or no tennis experience, who currently excel in other sports and/or who demonstrate an above-average athletic skill set. The Combine will be held from 2 – 4:30 PM on Sunday, April 9. The Combine is publicized throughout SPORTIME Randall’s Island’s neighboring communities, including East Harlem and the South Bronx. Children who have participated in the JMTP’s school and community-based programming are encouraged to attend. Participants will engage in a variety of physical tests and games, designed by SPORTIME/JMTA coaches, to assess objective, measurable capacities such as speed, strength, agility and hand-eye coordination. Other attributes such as attitude, concentration, energy and competitive spirit will be considered in the awarding of scholarships.
Scholarship winners for both the Tryout and the Athletic Scouting Combine will be notified at a later date.
SPORTIME Randall’s Island is located at One Randall’s Island, in Randall’s Island Park, Manhattan. For more information, parents of interested players/athletes can email JMTAscholarshipnyc@sportimeny.com or visit www.JohnMcEnroeTennisAcademy.com.
Proper athletic attire, including footwear, is required. Participants will have access to locker room and shower facilities. Water will be available on court. Cafe will be available on-site. SPORTIME Randall’s Island features a full-service pro shop, as well as professional stringing services. Registrants can visit www.jmta.com/scholarshipnyc for online registration or to print and submit via postal mail, online form or fax.
NEW YORK (March 15, 2017) — The New York Empire presented by Citi announced its 2017 Mylan World TeamTennis (WTT) schedule and final player roster for the upcoming season that will be played on Court 17 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
The New York Empire traded away its first-round draft pick for future considerations and took Kirsten Flipkens, from Belgium, in the second round. She is making her WTT debut this season. A former World No. 13 and Wimbledon semifinalist, Flipkens is no stranger to team tennis as she’s played a remarkable 13 years of Fed Cup action for her native country.
“I’m really looking forward to playing at the National Tennis Center this summer as part of the New York Empire,” said Flipkens. “I’ve been playing team tennis for quite some time but this summer will be really special. I’ve always heard how much fun World TeamTennis is for the players and strategizing with Gigi is an incredible opportunity for me.”
General Manager Michele Cope and Head Coach Gigi Fernandez then selected Maria Sanchez and Guido Pella, respectively. Sanchez, a four-time All-America player at the University of Southern California, is entering her fourth season of WTT and holds one WTA doubles title. Pella will return for his second season with the New York Empire after playing his WTT rookie season with the team last year. Pella was an integral part of the 2016 Argentinian Davis Cup Champion team and was an Olympian at the 2016 Rio Games.
“I am really excited to have been selected by the New York Empire in the WTT Draft. I love New York City, and there are few venues in all of tennis that can compare with the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center,” said Sanchez. “I can’t wait to join my teammates this summer and experience the energy and atmosphere on Court 17 as we look to compete for a league championship.”
“I had the greatest experience last season playing for the New York Empire and know this summer will be no different,” said Pella. “There is nothing like the energy and electricity you feel when playing in front of a New York crowd.”
Flipkens, Pella and Sanchez join previously announced New York Empire marquee players Genie Bouchard, Mardy Fish and John Isner.
The team’s schedule is book-ended with significant home stands. The New York Empire will host the Philadelphia Freedoms twice and Orange County (Calif.) Breakers within the first five days of the season and closes the season with home matches against the Breakers, San Diego Aviators, Washington Kastles and Springfield Lasers.
When the New York Empire host Philadelphia, Freedoms players Sloane Stephens and Donald Young will appear. Exact dates for Stephens’ and Young’s visits are yet to be determined.
New York Empire Schedule (home matches in bold)
Date Time Opponent
Sunday, July 16 5:00 p.m. Philadelphia
Monday, July 17 TBD at Philadelphia
Tuesday, July 18 TBD at Washington (D.C.)
Wednesday, July 19 7:00 p.m. Philadelphia
Thursday, July 20 7:00 p.m. Orange County (Calif.)
Saturday, July 22 TBD at Orange County (Calif.)
Sunday, July 23 TBD at San Diego
Tuesday, July 25 TBD at Philadelphia
Wednesday, July 26 TBD at Washington (D.C.)
Thursday, July 27 7:00 p.m. Orange County (Calif.)
Friday, July 28 7:00 p.m. San Diego
Sunday, July 30 TBD Washington (D.C.)
Monday, July 31 7:00 p.m. Springfield (Mo.)
Wednesday, August 2 TBD at Springfield (Mo.)
For more information:www.NYEmpireTennis.com
10th Annual Tennis BNP Paribas Showdown Live on WatchESPN from MSG on March 6
WatchESPN will present the 10th annual BNP Paribas Showdown live from Madison Square Garden in New York on Monday, March 6, at 7 p.m. ET. The Showdown will be a team tennis format this year that will feature Americas vs. World where each team is comprised of four players going head-to-head in addition to doubles matches throughout the night. A two hour encore presentation of the event will air on ESPN2 on Tuesday, March 7, at 11 p.m.
The teams are as follows (captains indicated in bold):
In addition, ESPN Classic will present past BNP Paribas Showdown events leading into the ESPN2 encore presentation, beginning at 7 a.m. on March 7. Full Schedule:
|Mon, Mar 6||7 p.m.||2017 BNP Paribas Showdown
Roddick/Sock vs. Hewitt/Kyrgios
|2017 BNP Paribas Showdown
Roddick vs. Hewitt
|2017 BNP Paribas Showdown
Williams/del Potro vs. Muguruza/Nishikori
|2017 BNP Paribas Showdown
Venus vs. Muguruza
|2017 BNP Paribas Showdown
Sock vs. Kyrgios
|2017 BNP Paribas Showdown
del Potro vs. Nishikori
|Tue, Mar 7||7 – 9 a.m.||2010 BNP Paribas Showdown
Kim Clijsters vs. Venus
|9 – 10:30 a.m.||2011 BNP Paribas Showdown
Pete Sampras vs. Andre Agassi
|10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.||2012 BNP Paribas Showdown
Roger Federer vs. Roddick
|1 – 3 p.m.||2013 BNP Paribas Showdown
Rafael Nadal vs. del Potro
|3 – 5 p.m.||2013 BNP Paribas Showdown
Serena Williams vs. Victoria Azarenka
|5 – 7 p.m.||2014 BNP Paribas Showdown
Novak Djokovic vs. Andy Murray
|7 – 9 p.m.||2015 BNP Paribas Showdown
Roger Federer vs. Grigor Dimitrov
|9 – 11 p.m.||2016 BNP Paribas Showdown
Serena Williams vs. Caroline Wozniacki
|11 p.m. – 1 a.m.||2017 BNP Paribas Showdown (encore presentation)||ESPN2|
In the new team tennis format, game scoring is no-ad and the event is won by the first team to reach five games. Should a set be tied at 4-4, a 12-point tie-breaker is played. Players will all be sitting courtside throughout the event. ESPN’s Patrick McEnroe and Brad Gilbert will call the action from the booth with Rennae Stubbs courtside for on-court interviews.
The BNP Paribas Showdown from MSG will air live in Spanish internationally on ESPN’s networks in 57 countries throughout Latin America including in Portuguese in Brazil and in English in the Caribbean and Pacific Rim, as well as delayed in Canada. In addition, ESPN’s broadband players in Latin America & the Caribbean (ESPN Play), in Brazil through WatchESPN, and Australia & New Zealand (WatchESPN) will also stream live simulcast coverage of this event.
BNP Paribas Showdown
Tickets for the 2017 BNP Paribas Showdown can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office or through any Ticketmaster outlet. New York City hosts the BNP Paribas Showdown for the tenth straight year, bringing together some of the greatest names in world tennis to celebrate World Tennis Day. World Tennis Day embraces nations from all over the globe in an effort to encourage people to try the great game of tennis and at the same time grow the sport. For more information on the various events, including the BNP Paribas Showdown, visit www.WorldTennisDay.com.
Upcoming Tennis from ESPN
In addition to the BNP Paribas Showdown from New York on March 6, in the next month ESPN Tennis will present the two biggest events on the tennis calendar outside the four Majors where virtually every top ATP and WTA player competes:
BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells, Calif.
Miami Open presented by Itaú, Miami
NEW YORK (March 1, 2017) — The New York Empire presented by Citi announced International Tennis Hall of Famer and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Gigi Fernandez as head coach for the second-year franchise that will play on Court 17 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
Fernandez, a winner of 17 Grand Slam doubles titles during a career that spanned from 1983 to 1997, is the only female coach currently in Mylan World TeamTennis. The Puerto Rico-native will immediately focus her attention on the March 14th Mylan WTT Roster Draft as the New York Empire holds the first pick.
The team previously announced the acquisitions of John Isner, Eugenie Bouchard and Mardy Fish as part of the league’s Marquee Draft.
“This is going to be a fantastic summer for the New York Empire with a really strong team that already includes John, Genie and Mardy,” said Fernandez. “We’ll finalize the remainder of the roster very soon and then it’s time to start thinking about match strategy. I really can’t wait to work with these amazing athletes.”
Tickets start as low as $10 for children age 16-and-under, and $20 for adults. The New York Empire offers both reserved box seats and general admission seating, along with hospitality packages, which include food and beverage service. A limited number of VIP tables are also available.
Individual match tickets will go on sale later this spring. To purchase season tickets or to get more information, please email email@example.com or call the New York Empire office at
(844) 5-EMPIRE (844-536-7473).
INDIAN WELLS, CA –– AYS Sports Marketing is pleased to announce it will host the popular Taste of Tennis event on Monday, March 6, 2017, at Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa. The Taste will feature California native and James Beard Award Winning Chef, Jonathan Waxman and hosted by Chef Chris Mitchum. Taste of Tennis is widely regarded as tennis’ premier “off the court” experience. Key sponsors include: Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort, City of Indian Wells, Tourism Authority of Thailand, North Shore Living Herbs, Voss, ChefWorks & Volkl.
For updates and to purchase tickets, visit www.tasteoftennis.com/iw
MIAMI, FL –– AYS Sports Marketing is pleased to announce Citi has joined us as the Title sponsor! The Citi Taste of Tennis will be hosted at W Miami on Monday, March 20, 2017. We are excited to bring the event to Brickell and enjoy a rooftop party! Our premier sponsors include: Citibank, W Miami, Lifeway Kefir, ChefWorks, Voss & Volkl.
To purchase tickets or updates, visit www.cititasteoftennis.com
New York, NY – AYS Sports Marketing will be hosting our Taste of Tennis events from August 22- 25, 2017. For the past 18 years, Taste of Tennis has
kicked off Tennis in New York City: Meet a player, enjoy cuisine by a celebrity chef, learn how to make a pre-match meal, play ping pong with a pro and more! The events feature incredible talent alongside New York’s culinary and hotel venues. Key Sponsors include: Jamaica Tourist Board,
Lifeway Kefir, ChefWorks, Voss & Volkl.
To purchase tickets or to learn more, visit www.tasteoftennis.com/nyc
Second Annual Taste of Tennis Miami Takes Place on March 21, 2016
TENNIS HALL OF FAMERS MICHAEL CHANG AND JOHN MCENROE TAKE ON FAIRFIELD’S JAMES BLAKE AND DEFENDING CHAMPION MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS IN POWERSHARES SERIES AT 2017 CONNECTICUT OPEN PRESENTED BY UNITED TECHNOLOGIES
Tickets For 2017 Connecticut Open Go On Sale In March
NEW HAVEN, Conn., February 7, 2017 – Tennis Hall of Fame inductees Michael Chang and John McEnroe will face Fairfield’s James Blake and defending champion Mark Philippoussis in a PowerShares Series event – the circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30 – at the 2017 Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies, to be held August 18-26, at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale, it was announced today by Tournament Director Anne Worcester.
The Connecticut Open Men’s Legends Event, which began three years ago, is an official part of the PowerShares Series. McEnroe, Blake and Philippoussis returned to New Haven in 2016, while Chang will make his New Haven debut in the PowerShares Series. On Thursday, August 24, following the women’s quarterfinal, Chang will play Blake, and on Friday, August 25, following the WTA semifinal, McEnroe will take on Philippoussis, with the winners of each matchup competing in a final on Friday night. The men’s matches will be one set each.
The youngest ATP World Tour player to win a Grand Slam Singles Title, Chang returns to New Haven for the first time since 1995. Chang, who earned a career-high ranking of No. 2 in the world, won the 1989 French Open crown at 17 years old and won 34 singles titles on the ATP World Tour. Inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2008, Chang is the current coach of World No. 5 Kei Nishikori.
“I have fond memories playing in the City of New Haven, and I look forward to coming back and participating in the PowerShares Series at the Connecticut Open,” said Chang. “The Connecticut Tennis Center is a great venue with tremendous fans, and it will be fun to compete against Fairfield native James Blake. Hopefully I can make the final and get a chance against McEnroe or Philippoussis and win the event.”
McEnroe, a seven-time Grand Slam singles and nine-time Grand Slam Doubles Champion, will be returning to New Haven for the third consecutive year. McEnroe boasts more than 150 singles and doubles championships in his career, and, in 1984, had one of the greatest seasons in the history of tennis when he won two majors (Wimbledon, US Open), 13 of 15 singles tournaments, and compiled an 82-3 record for the year, the best year-long winning percentage on the ATP World Tour. McEnroe was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1999.
Blake is a two-time Connecticut Open Champion, earning 10 singles and seven doubles titles on the ATP World Tour. The Fairfield Connecticut native returns to play in the Legends event for the third consecutive year. Philippoussis, a former top 10 player with 11 singles and three doubles titles in his career, returns for a second straight year. The Australian defeated 2017 International Hall of Fame inductee Andy Roddick and Blake to win the PowerShares Series at New Haven last year.
“The Legends Event is a fan-favorite at the Connecticut Open, and we strive to welcome some of the greatest players in the history of the game to New Haven each year,” said Worcester. “The Hall of Famers continue to flock to New Haven, as Michael Chang joins John McEnroe this year following 2017 Hall of Fame inductee Andy Roddick’s appearance in last year’s event. James Blake obviously has a huge following in Connecticut and Mark Philippoussis, who won the event last year, can still play electric tennis. We’re extremely happy with this year’s PowerShares Series lineup and look forward to another great event in New Haven.”
Fans can guarantee the best to the Legends matches by purchasing a weeklong or multiple session package. 2017 Connecticut Open ticket options include:
After Hours (Aug. 21-26) – Every evening session, including all Legends matches, and Saturday afternoon (WTA Finals)
Final 4 (Aug. 24-26) – Thursday evening (Quarterfinal/Legends), Friday day and evening (WTA Semifinals/Legends), and Saturday (WTA Finals)
Pick 4 (Aug. 20-24) – Choice of four early round sessions including Thursday evening (WTA Quarterfinal/Legends)
For those looking to see all 14 sessions of incredible women’s tennis plus both Legends matches, weeklong box seats are available and provide significant savings and a host of benefits.
For more information about the 2017 Connecticut Open, including multi-session packages, weeklong box seats, sponsorship packages, hospitality and becoming a volunteer, visit www.ctopen.org or call 203-776-7331. Daily tickets for the tournament will be on sale starting March 20.
POWERSHARES SERIES FULL SCHEDULE FOR 2017 ANNOUNCED
(February 7, 2017) LOS ANGELES – PowerShares Series Tennis, the circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30, announced its full 2017 circuit of events starting March 30 in Toronto, Canada.
The 2017 PowerShares Series will also again partner alongside ATP and WTA events in Charleston, S.C., Newport, R.I., Winston-Salem, N.C., and New Haven, Conn. The series of one-night tournaments, featuring two one-set semifinal matches and a one-set final-round match played between tennis legends, will feature for a third straight year players making their own line-calls with the assistance of electronic line-calling.
The full 2017 PowerShares Series schedule, with player fields, is as follows:
* March 30: Toronto, ON (Ricoh Coliseum) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish, Mark Philippoussis
* April 1: Charleston, S.C. (Family Circle Tennis Center) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, James Blake, Mark Philippoussis
* April 28: Birmingham, AL (Legacy Arena At The BJCC) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mardy Fish
* May 17: Chicago, IL (UIC Pavilion) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis
* July 23 Newport, R.I. (International Tennis Hall of Fame) – Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake, Mardy Fish
* August 20 Winston-Salem, N.C. (Wake Forest University) – Andy Roddick, James Blake, Michael Chang, Mardy Fish
* August 24, 25 New Haven, CT (Yale University) – John McEnroe, Michael Chang, James Blake, Mark Philippoussis
* Lincoln, NE (Pinnacle Bank Arena) – to be announced
* Los Angeles, CA (Sherwood Country Club) – to be announced
* Nashville, TN (Bridgestone Arena) – to be announced
Each PowerShares Series event also features special VIP experiences, including hit-with-the-pros opportunities and special back-stage access. All ticket, experience and event information can be found at www.PowerSharesSeries.com.
Mark Philippoussis won the 2016 PowerShares Series season championship with tournament victories in Memphis, Tulsa, Newport, Winston-Salem and New Haven. Andy Roddick won four events during the 2016 season in St. Louis, Charleston, Los Angeles and Orlando, followed in third place by James Blake, who won titles in Chicago, Portland and Brooklyn. In 2015, Roddick won the PowerShares Series points title in his second year of competing on the series winning a record eight events in Los Angeles, Lincoln, Chicago, Austin, Little Rock, Dallas, Richmond and Minneapolis. The year before in 2014, McEnroe won the points title for the first time in the history of Champions Series tennis by winning events in Kansas City, Indianapolis, Nashville and Charlotte.
New York, NY (January 16, 2017) – Tennis legends Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt will join the star-studded lineup for the 10th anniversary of the BNP Paribas Showdown on Monday, March 6, it was announced today. Roddick and Hewitt will join Juan Martin del Potro, Kei Nishikori, Venus Williams, Garbiñe Muguruza, Nick Kyrgios and Jack Sock in the annual tennis showcase at Madison Square Garden, which coincides with “World Tennis Day” activities.
Hewitt, who announced his retirement from the professional tour last January, is back to renew his rivalry with fellow veteran Roddick who retired after the 2012 US Open. The two former World No. 1 players have produced a combined 62 tournament wins which includes Hewitt’s Grand Slam titles at the 2001 US Open and 2002 Wimbledon Championships, as well as Roddick’s Grand Slam victory at the 2002 US Open.
“I played the World Tennis Day event in Hong Kong a few years ago and love the concept of a worldwide celebration of tennis,” said Hewitt. “I am really excited about playing Andy at Madison Square Garden which is one of the great venues for our sport. Should be an exciting night for everyone.”
“Playing at Madison Square Garden is a bucket list item for any entertainer, especially for a tennis player … that’s normally saved for rock stars and basketball players,” added Roddick. “To play Roger there in 2012, it was such an amazing atmosphere … when I got the invite to come back, I was going to do everything I could to make that a reality.”
The two are tied at seven wins each in head-to-head competition. Hewitt will make his Madison Square Garden debut while Roddick returns to the BNP Paribas Showdown for the second time.
Roddick and Hewitt will square off in an action-packed night that also features del Potro, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist taking on No. 5 Nishikori, while former world No. 1 Venus Williams squares off against French Open champion, Muguruza. Kyrgios and Sock will provide a glimpse of what the future has in store for tennis fans when they take to the Garden court.
Over the course of its decade at Madison Square Garden, the BNP Paribas Showdown has become a must-see event, from superstar Pete Sampras showing a younger Roger Federer he can still play in the inaugural matchup in 2008, to last year’s electrifying performances by Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Stan Wawrinka and Gael Monfils. The event has also hosted a who’s who in the world of tennis, including: Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Andre Agassi, Ivan Lendl, Mike and Bob Bryan, John and Patrick McEnroe, Maria Sharapova, Kim Clijsters, Victoria Azarenka, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic, Monica Seles and Gabriela Sabatini.
The 10th anniversary BNP Paribas Showdown is produced by MSG Sports and GF Sports. Tickets start at $35.00 and are currently on-sale. They can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden box office, online at www.thegarden.com and at all Ticketmaster outlets.
The BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden will once again headline a full day of nationwide activities as part of “World Tennis Day,” a global tennis participation effort. All events promote tailoring the game to players 10-and-under with smaller racquets, lighter balls and modified scoring.
Blake Beats McEnroe To Win 2016 PowerShares Season Finale In Brooklyn
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — James Blake defeated John McEnroe 6-4 to win the PowerShares QQQ Cup Saturday at the Barclays Center, the 12th and final event on the 2016 PowerShares Series, the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30.
The tournament title was Blake’s third on the PowerShares Series for the 2016 season, also winning the opening event in Chicago in April and in Portland, Oregon in November. The PowerShares QQQ Cup was the first tennis event ever at the Barclays Center, the home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and NHL’s New York Islanders. The event was also the first pro tennis event in Brooklyn since Bill Tilden won the 1935 U.S. Open Pro Championships at the Terrace Club in the Flatbush area of the borough.
The final had a hard New York feel as McEnroe has lived in New York City his entire life and Blake being a local favorite having been born in nearby Yonkers and grew up in the tri-state area in nearby Fairfield, Connecticut.
“I don’t think I have ever played more of a New Yorker in New York than myself since I was born here,” said Blake of playing against McEnroe, who had the majority of the crowd behind him, including his students from the nearby John McEnroe Tennis Academy on Randall’s Island and his wife Patty and brother Mark among other family members. “It makes sense to cheer for John McEnroe. He has done so much for this city and so much for this sport. If I’m not playing against him, I’m in the stands cheering for him too.”
The turning point in the match came at the third deuce point at 4-4 when the 37-year-old Blake ripped a backhand up the line passing shot off a McEnroe half volley to set up break point. He then hit another down-the-line backhand return-of-serve that forced a McEnroe half-volley error to break serve. Blake then benefited from two missed backhands from the 57-year-old McEnroe while connecting on two forehand winners to close out the win.
“I was just praying that he would miss a few first serves at the end,” said Blake, who was born four months after McEnroe won his first major singles title at the 1979 U.S. Open. “I was trying to get chances early on, but he erased them all with good serves. I pray that I can serve that well at 57 years old, or moving or anything he is doing this well at 57. I am just happy to get through it. I got a little lucky at the end and took advantage of my one chance on his serve.”
To reach the final, Blake defeated former U.S. Davis Cup teammate Andy Roddick 6-4 in the first semifinal, while McEnroe defeated Jim Courier 6-3.
Blake earned 400 PowerShares ranking points with the win to finish the season in third place with 1100 ranking points. Both Roddick and Mark Philippoussis finished the 2016 PowerShares Series season with 1600 ranking point totals, using their best four tournament results. However, Philippoussis is declared the season champion winning the tiebreaker with the better head-to-head record between the two, beating Roddick five times during the season, with Roddick only able to beat Philippoussis in the final of Thousand Oaks, California in October.
Each PowerShares Series event features two one-set semifinal matches and a one-set championship match and, for the second straight year, players make their own line calls with assistance of electronic line-calling.
The full 2016 PowerShares Series list of events and final-round results are as follows;
Chicago – James Blake def. John McEnroe 6-4
Charleston, SC – Andy Roddick def. Andre Agassi 6-1
St. Louis – Andy Roddick def. John McEnroe 6-3
Memphis – Mark Philippoussis def. Jim Courier 6-3
Tulsa – Mark Philippoussis def. Jim Courier 6-3
Newport, RI – Mark Philippoussis def. Marat Safin 6-4
Winston-Salem – Mark Philippoussis def. Andy Roddick 6-3
New Haven, CT – Mark Philippoussis def. James Blake 6-2
Portland, OR – James Blake def. Andy Roddick 7-5
Los Angeles – Andy Roddick def. Mark Philippoussis 6-2
Orlando – Andy Roddick def. Jim Courier 6-4
Brooklyn – James Blake def. John McEnroe 6-4