John McEnroe, James Blake, Andy Roddick, and Jim Courier To Compete in Legends Event at Connecticut Open
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 23, 2015 InsideOut Sports & Entertainment today announced
the draws for its 2015 PowerShares Series champions tennis circuit. The
PowerShares Series, the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis
players, will visit 12 cities in 2015 starting March 24 in Salt Lake City, Utah
and concluding Saturday, May 2 in Vancouver, Canada. Players competing on the
2015 PowerShares Series are John McEnroe, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jim
Courier, Andy Roddick, Michael Chang, James Blake and Mark Philippoussis.
Each one-night event will feature two one-set semifinal matches, followed by a
oneset championship match. For more information: www.PowerSharesSeries.com.
The full 2015 PowerShares Series schedule with event match-ups are as follows:
Tuesday, March 24: Salt Lake City, Utah (Huntsman Center) “Champions Shootout”
James Blake vs. Mark Philippoussis, Andre Agassi vs. Jim Courier
Wednesday, March 25: Los Angeles, Calif., (Galen Center at USC) “SoCal Honda
Dealers Helpful Cup”
Pete Sampras vs. Jim Courier, Andy Roddick vs. James Blake
Wednesday, April 1: Lincoln, Neb., (Pinnacle Bank Arena at Univ. of Nebraska)
“Champions Cup Presented by Woods Park Tennis”
Andy Roddick vs. Jim Courier, James Blake vs. John McEnroe
Thursday, April 2: Chicago, Ill. (Sears Centre) “PowerShares QQQ Challenge”
John McEnroe vs. Jim Courier, Andy Roddick vs. James Blake
Thursday, April 16: Austin, Texas (Cedar Park Center) “Champions Shootout”
John McEnroe vs. Jim Courier, Andy Roddick vs. James Blake
Friday, April 17: Little Rock, Ark. (Jack Stephens Center at the UALR)
Andy Roddick vs. Jim Courier, John McEnroe vs. Mark Philippoussis
Saturday, April 18: Dallas, Texas (Moody Coliseum at SMU) “Champions Showdown”
John McEnroe vs. Jim Courier, Andy Roddick vs. Mark Philippoussis
Wednesday, April 22: Boston, Mass. (Agganis Arena at Boston University)
John McEnroe vs. Jim Courier, Andy Roddick vs. James Blake
Thursday, April 23: Richmond, Va., (Siegel Center at VCU) “Champions Challenge”
Jim Courier vs. Andy Roddick, John McEnroe vs. James Blake
Wednesday, April 29: Minneapolis, Minn. (Target Center) “Champions Shootout”
John McEnroe vs. James Blake, Andy Roddick vs. Michael Chang
Thursday, April 30: Cincinnati, Ohio (Cintas Center at Xavier) “Champions
Andy Roddick vs. James Blake, John McEnroe vs. Michael Chang
Saturday, May 2: Vancouver, Canada (Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre at
UBC) “Champions Showdown”
Michael Chang vs. Mark Philippoussis, Pete Sampras vs. John McEnroe
In 2014, McEnroe won the points title for the first time in the nine-year
history of Champions Series tennis by winning events in Kansas City,
Indianapolis, Nashville and Charlotte. McEnroe was followed in the points
standings by Blake in second place and Roddick in third place.
(December 9, 2014) NEW YORK, NY – The 2015 PowerShares Series tennis circuit announced the dates, venues and fields that will feature 2014 tour champion John McEnroe defending his crown versus a group of legends led by Andy Roddick, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras and Jim Courier. InsideOut Sports & Entertainment, a division of Horizon Media, made the announcement on Tuesday.
The North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players will visit 12 cities in 2015, kicking off on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 in Salt Lake City and concluding Saturday, May 2 in Vancouver. Players competing on the 2015 circuit are McEnroe, Roddick, Agassi, Sampras, Courier, James Blake, Michael Chang and Mark Philippoussis. Each one-night event will feature two one-set semifinal matches, followed by a one-set championship match.
“We are excited once again to present the PowerShares Series and bring this entertaining brand of tennis to many new markets,” said Jon Venison, Partner at InsideOut Sports & Entertainment. “It was quite something to see John McEnroe win the PowerShares Series points title last year against his much younger competition, but I know the younger generation, led by Andy Roddick and James Blake, will want to steal his thunder in the upcoming season.”
The full 2015 PowerShares Series schedule with field of players is as follows:
Tuesday, March 24: Salt Lake City, Utah (Huntsman Center at the University of Utah) “Champions Shootout” featuring Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, James Blake, Mark Philippoussis
Wednesday, March 25: Los Angeles, Calif., (Galen Center at USC) “SoCal Honda Dealers Helpful Cup” featuring Pete Sampras, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake
Wednesday, April 1: Lincoln, Neb., (Pinnacle Bank Arena at University of Nebraska) “Champions Cup Presented by Woods Park Tennis” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake
Thursday, April 2: Chicago, Ill. (Sears Centre) “PowerShares QQQ Challenge” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake
Thursday, April 16: Austin, Texas (Cedar Park Center) “Champions Shootout” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake
Friday, April 17: Little Rock, Ark. (Jack Stephens Center at the UALR) “Champions Cup” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis
Saturday, April 18: Dallas, Texas (Moody Coliseum at SMU) “Champions Showdown” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis
Wednesday, April 22: Boston, Mass. (Agganis Arena at Boston University) “Champions Cup” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake
Thursday, April 23: Richmond, Va., (Siegel Center at VCU) “Champions Challenge” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake
Wednesday, April 29: Minneapolis, Minn. (Target Center) “Champions Shootout” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Michael Chang, James Blake
Thursday, April 30: Cincinnati, Ohio (Cintas Center at Xavier) “Champions Showdown” featuring John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Michael Chang, James Blake
Saturday, May 2: Vancouver, Canada (Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre at UBC) “Champions Showdown” featuring Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Michael Chang, Mark Philippoussis
In 2014, McEnroe won the points title for the first time in the nine-year history of Champions Series tennis by winning events in Kansas City, Indianapolis, Nashville and Charlotte. McEnroe was followed in the points standings by Blake in second place and Roddick in third place.
For more information on the series- www.PowerSharesSeries.com.
Andy Roddick, James Blake and John Isner Team Up to Particpate in Justin Gimelstob Children’s Fund Tennis Exhibition
By Josh Meiseles, Special to Tennis Panorama News
(December 7, 2013) CHATHAM, NJ – Centercourt Athletic Club in Chatham, New Jersey played host to the Justin Gimelstob Children’s Fund Tennis Exhibition for the sixth time on Friday, as the star-studded event raised money for the former ATP pro’s foundation. The fundraiser amassed over $300,000 in support of comprehensive healthcare services for children with cancer and blood disorders. In conjunction with The Valerie Fund, a New Jersey-based non-profit organization, the event also included a free 10 & under tennis clinic.
“When we started this event and my foundation fifteen years ago, I could never have imagined it would have grown into what it is today,” said Gimelstob in a press release. “It brings me so much pleasure to come back home and bring world-class tennis with me…all for a great cause.”
A day after James Blake held his ninth annual Serving for a Cure event in New York City, the former ATP World No. 4 accompanied Gimelstob, Andy Roddick and John Isner for a few singles and doubles exhibition matches. Celebrities in attendance included David Duchovny, Anne V., Brooklyn Decker, ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell, New York Mets star pitcher Matt Harvey and former New Jersey Nets guard Kerry Kittles.
“It means a lot to us, to all of us,” said Isner. “All of us support each other and our causes as well and that’s really what we’re doing here. We did it last night with James, tonight with Justin and these guys are coming down with me to North Carolina. We’re all very good friends and through that friendship and our tennis we’re able to give back to some unbelievable causes. You really get a lot of satisfaction out of this time of year.”
The evening included plenty of comedic moments, especially from the witty Roddick. With no shortage of banter, the former World No. 1 razzed on Isner’s net game and jumped on Duchovny for overcooking a volley: “You know, I hated the X-Files before that shot.” The shot of the day came when Blake ripped a massive forehand winner off a Roddick serve to which the US Open champ replied, “You realize I’m going right for your forehand next time.”
Roddick also reflected on his first full season away from the tour. “I guess every retired guy has that kick in the gut moment where you miss it. Mine was Wimbledon and the grass season. I don’t know if that was because I didn’t quite get there. That’s what I wanted most. It didn’t help that all the guys lost in the first couple rounds and I’m thinking ‘what did I do?’ The cumulative six-week process of getting to the point of competing in Australia is what I couldn’t get to anymore. Obviously being at the [US] Open was great, seeing it again. I was sitting up top watching the final and I was just amazed at how the guys play.”
By Vito Ellison, Special to Tennis Panorama News
(December 6, 2013) NEW YORK CITY – The James Blake Foundation brought tennis to New York’s 69th Regiment Armory Thursday night for the 2013 edition of Serving for a Cure. The event, first held in 2005, raises money for the Thomas Blake Sr. Memorial Research Fund, supporting early detection cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
As in previous years, the popular American was able to draw the support of some his high profile tennis pals including former World No. 1 and Fox Sports 1 host Andy Roddick as well as the current top-ranked American, John Isner. The centerpiece of the event was a doubles match with Isner and Roddick taking the court for a light-hearted exhibition against Blake and Real Husbands of Hollywood actor Boris Kodjoe. Kodjoe, though better known as an actor, is an accomplished tennis player in his own right, having been a four-year letter winner in the sport at VCU. The actor held his own with the tennis champs, prompting Andy Roddick to crack at one point “If I could retire again, I would” after a Kodjoe passing shot whizzed by him. Though the mood was kept light by emcee Justin Gimelstob, there was still some competitive fire on display. Roddick smacked his racquet on the court after an error that cost his side a game; while Isner briefly argued with officials over what he felt was a botched line call.
Read the rest here.
Mark Knowles and Andy Roddick to Square Off Against Bryan Bros. Friday in Camarillo at V-Grid Tennis Fest
From the ATP World Tour – AUGUST 24, 2013 -NEW YORK — ATP World Tour No. 1s past and present gathered to mark the 40th anniversary of the Emirates ATP Rankings at the ‘No. 1 Celebration’, Friday night at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
Ilie Nastase, who became the first ATP World No. 1 on 23 August 1973, was present to be honoured on the night, along with successors John Newcombe, Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander, Stefan Edberg, Jim Courier, Marcelo Rios, Carlos Moya, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Gustavo Kuerten, Lleyton Hewitt, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Andy Roddick, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
The legends each took part in an on-stage Q&A with Justin Gimelstob and Guy Forget, sharing their experiences of reaching the summit of world tennis, before posing for a group photo with the ATP World Tour No. 1 trophy. Each year-end No. 1 received an engraved replica of the trophy.
“It’s definitely an ultimate goal for any athlete, not just tennis players,” said current World No. 1 Djokovic. “Growing up, in early childhood, you are inspired to show that love and appreciation and passion towards the sport, and of course there is this big drive – waking up every morning, working so hard, developing skills to be No. 1 in the world. Not many players have achieved that and to sit with fellow champions, it’s an incredible feeling… I’m really honoured to be here.”
Federer, who held the No. 1 ranking for a record 302 weeks, spoke about sharing the stage with the players who inspired him. “It was very important for me to have someone to look up to. Stefan was one of them, so it’s nice to see you here tonight and all the others players… We’ve put such huge effort in the game, and that’s a platform we can enjoy today. So it’s unbelievable. Thanks for being an inspiration Stefan, all of you here today.”
On a lighter note, a self-deprecating Roddick said, “It is an honour to be the worst player in the room.” Fellow American Courier added, “It’s a great honour to be here among friends. I dreamed of being in this arena, and to be part of this group is mind-blowing.”
The evening, part of the broader ATP Heritage programme, also included a tribute to former ATP Executive Chairman and President Brad Drewett, who passed away in May following a battle with Motor Neurone Disease. Drewett founded the ATP Heritage programme earlier this year.
“Brad cherished the history of the ATP and men’s professional tennis in general,” said Mark Young, CEO ATP Americas. “Tonight’s celebration is a reflection of that. It was his vision to see all the No. 1 players gathered together as we honoured their achievements.”
The ATP Heritage programme, with the support of its founding partner Rolex, will continue to serve as a platform to celebrate the rich history of the ATP and the remarkable achievements of the world’s greatest players throughout history.
NEW YORK, N.Y. (May 6, 2013) – World TeamTennis announced today that tennis champions and global sports icons Venus Williams and Andy Roddick have become part owners of the business and of the professional team tennis league co-founded by Billie Jean King.
Both longtime Mylan WTT players, Williams and Roddick will help lead the organization forward and have an active voice in shaping its direction and expansion roadmap in both U.S. and international markets in the coming years. As global ambassadors for sport, the pair will have an important role in broadening visibility for World TeamTennis internationally, while helping attract new business partners and players to become part of the league. In addition, they will continue to compete in Mylan WTT, with Roddick taking the court for the Springfield Lasers and Williams returning to the Washington Kastles.
Billie Jean King, the majority owner of World TeamTennis, said, “I’m thrilled to have Venus and Andy become part of our leadership. They have always been more than amazing athletes – they are champions in life who have inspired so many and who I’m sure will bring an exciting perspective and valuable ideas to how we expand WTT both domestically and internationally.”
Williams’ connection to Mylan WTT goes back more than 20 years when she and her sister Serena attended a World TeamTennis youth clinic in Long Beach, Calif., when they were young children and met King. It was a moment that Williams never forgot and has spurred her to consistently play Mylan WTT throughout the years for both the competition and the opportunity to give back. Williams also played a pivotal role in getting equal prize money at the four majors and has been active in a number of charitable efforts.
Commenting on her new commitment to WTT, Venus Williams said, “I am very excited to join the ownership group for the organization that Billie Jean co-founded almost 40 years ago and for which I have played for over a decade. It’s no secret that she has been a great mentor and inspiration to me and this new ownership role is an opportunity to give back while also having an active hand in shaping the future direction of the league in a much more substantial way. WTT is on a great path and I’m looking forward to what’s to come.”
Roddick has been a longtime supporter of Mylan WTT, dating back to his start on the professional tour at age 17. He returns for his 7th season this July, his first with the Springfield Lasers. Roddick has also participated for most of the past decade in Mylan WTT Smash Hits, the annual charity event co-hosted by Sir Elton John and King. Roddick has raised millions through the Andy Roddick Foundation (ARF) to develop and inspire underserved youth through education and sports-based mentoring.
Andy Roddick said, “I’ve always been a big supporter of Billie Jean’s and of WTT over the years. In my time playing in the league, I’ve seen firsthand not only the way it engages fans, but also what I see is a big opportunity to bring this type of competition to a broader audience in innovative new ways. I’m excited to have a seat at the table in helping guide where we take the league next.”
King concluded, “Venus and Andy also understand the connection that Mylan WTT teams make with local communities and can inspire so many young children to take up the sport and dream of one day playing for their hometown team.”
This announcement follows on a number of important developments with WTT in recent months including a new multi-year title sponsorship with Mylan Pharmaceuticals and multi-year renewals with GEICO as presenting sponsor and Wilson as the official tennis brand of Mylan World TeamTennis, and the addition of a new sponsorship partner, Adecco. Earlier this year, WTT added a presence in another major U.S. market with the relocation of a franchise to the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex where the Texas Wild will make their Mylan WTT debut this July in Irving, Texas.
The 2013 season will start out with an opportunity to make sports history as the defending Mylan WTT champion Washington Kastles, led by Venus Williams, put their 32-match win streak on the line on July 8 in Washington, D.C. The Kastles are only one win away from tying the major U.S. pro sports team record of 33 wins by the NBA’s 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers.
The 2013 season of Mylan World TeamTennis presented by GEICO runs July 7-28 in eight U.S. markets. The regular season is July 7-24 with the top two teams from both the Western and Eastern Conference advancing to the 2013 Mylan WTT Conference Championships on Thursday, July 25. The 2013 Mylan WTT Finals will be contested on Sunday, July 28, on the home court of the Eastern Conference Champions.
By Kevin Ware
(February 12, 2013) SAN JOSE, California -This is a bittersweet moment as I prepare my preview for this year’s SAP Open. The SAP Open, the second-oldest tournament in the US, is ending its’ illustrious run with this final week at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA. Many great and legendary players have hoisted the trophy through its’ various names and incarnations. But whether it was the Siebel Open, the Sybase Open, or whatever, it didn’t matter to those of us in the Bay Area who were grateful for a chance to see world-class tennis. This tournament will be greatly missed!
This year’s edition promises one final hurrah with a great field and the addition of a mixed doubles exhibition match on Saturday, featuring longtime SAP Open stalwart Andy Roddick, 3-time Slam champion Lindsay Davenport, and 22-time Slam champion Stephanie “Steffi” Graf. Defending champion Milos Raonic is also back to try for an historic SAP Open hat trick. So even though this is the final SAP Open, it definitely promises to go out on a high.
Main draw action started Monday night with Xavier Malisse and Jesse Levine winning first-round matches. With qualifying rounds completed, the action starts in earnest on Tuesday with main draw matches for both singles and doubles.
Here is my breakdown of the quarters as I look for Raonic to make history for the tournament with his third straight title.
Milos Raonic 
The top quarter features top seeded Milos Raonic, who has a chance to pull off a rare “hat trick” win at this year’s SAP Open after title runs in 2011 and 2012. How rare is it? No player has won three straight SAP Open titles since Tony Trabert accomplished the feat with wins in ’53, ’54, and ’55. This includes greats like Ashe, McEnroe, Sampras, Agassi, and Roddick. a win in this final SAP Open would certainly put Milos at par with this very select group of players.
Milos likes the conditions in San Jose, and has played some of his best tennis on this center court over the past couple of years. His serve has been off the charts, both in terms of pace and placement, and his ground game has been damaging off both his forehand and backhand wings. There isn’t much that’s likely to stop his march to the semifinals; not even a potential quarterfinal rematch against his 2012 finalist, Denis Istomin.
Sam Querrey 
The second quarter features Davis Cup hero, Sam Querrey. It would be easy to peg Querrey as the favorite to make his way through to the semifinals, but he will have his hands full with his most likely second-round challenger, former champion Lleyton Hewitt. While Hewitt has a first-round encounter with Blaz Kavcic to help him settle into the tournament and get used to the conditions, Sam has a first-round bye.
Most players will tell you that there’s nothing trickier than playing an opponent who’s “into” the tournament when you’re still trying to get used to the conditions. And even if they haven’t played since 2009, Hewitt’s 2-0 head-to-head over Querrey doesn’t help matters much either. But if Sam settles into the match quickly, he should be okay for the win. On the other hand, Hewitt’s success at this year’s Kooyong exhibition showed that he’s a legitimate contender in best two out of three matches with significant wins over Raonic, Tomas Berdych, and Juan Martin Del Potro.
After Hewitt, seventh seed Marinko Matosevic of AUS will likely be Querrey’s last hurdle for a spot in the semifinals.
Tommy Haas 
Speaking of best two out of three set matches, the combination of the format and the quicker indoor court gives the number four seed a decent shot at making the quarterfinals. Once he gets there, however, he’ll have a tough battle to get by Fernando Verdasco  for the third semifinal spot.
Tommy has a 2-1 head-to-head edge over Fernando on tour, but they haven’t played since 2009. In many ways, it’s either player’s match to win or lose. If Tommy’s body and game hold up, it could happen for him. Fernando is no slouch, though. He’s one of three former champions in the field (along with Raonic and Hewitt), and knows what it takes to win in San Jose.
Also, I’m sure Fernando would like a chance at redemption for the title he felt that he wrongly lost in the 2011 final after a fan’s yell on match point distracted him while returning Raonic’s serve.
John Isner 
In spite of recent knee issues that kept him from performing his best in Australia, Big John looks to be moving decently and serving at close to his best level. He lost a five set heartbreaker to Thomaz Bellucci in Davis Cup, but should be okay in San Jose even though he hasn’t played there since 2009.
With a 2-2 head-to-head record, veteran player Xavier Malisse might cause Isner some issues in their probable quarterfinal match-up. But I’d be hard-pressed to see him not make it through to Saturday’s semifinals.
Milos Raonic  versus Sam Querrey 
Head-to-head: Querrey leads 2-0
Querrey might have the advantage in the head-to-head numbers, but Milos has owned this court for the past two years. In a battle of evenly-matched big guys with big serves and big groundstrokes, I have to give the edge to the guy who has won back-to-back titles in the past two years.
Raonic in straight sets.
Tommy Haas  versus John Isner 
Head-to-head: Isner leads 3-1
Make that 4-1 after this semifinal battle. Isner has way too much firepower for Haas. He will make the big guy work for it with smart shot-making, but it won’t be enough to counter Isner’s untouchable serve unless Tommy has a great returning day.
Isner in straight sets.
Milos Raonic  versus John Isner 
Head-to-head: Isner leads 1-0
They’ve played only once before on a Canadian hard court in last year’s Rogers Cup, with Isner winning a close 7-6(9), 6-4 match. Serve dominated the stats, as one would expect. But while Raonic served more aces than Isner, Isner won 91% of his first serves as compared to 78% for Raonic. In a close match that can make all the difference.
I expect this match to go the distance, with the winner being determined by the same factors i.e. winning serve percentages. If John keeps his percentages high, he’s got a good shot at thwarting the Raonic three-peat. If not, Raonic has a “slightly” better ground game on which to fall back than Isner.
For all practical purposes, it’s anyone’s guess who will come out on top. For history’s sake at this last SAP Open, I’ll go with Raonic for the three-peat.
Raonic in three sets.