2014/04/16

James Blake on a Roll as the Champions Shootout Comes to Sacramento

(L-R Andy Roddick, James Blake and John Isner)

(L-R Andy Roddick, James Blake and John Isner)

By Kevin Ware

(February 26, 2014) World-class men’s tennis returns to Northern California tonight with the Champions Shootout: the next stop on the PowerShares Series 12-city tour.  Featuring a roster of tennis icons and legends, the PowerShares Series combines the best of competitive tennis and fan appreciation in a condensed format that’s fun for both the players and fans alike.

The last PowerShares visit to the Bay Area saw Jim Courier, John McEnroe, Andre Agassi, and Todd Martin battling it out for supremacy (and rankings points) in San Jose. This time around, Sacramento is the battleground. And stalwarts Courier and McEnroe are joined by Pete Sampras and series newcomer, James Blake.

McEnroe currently leads the rankings, followed by Courier and PowerShares newcomer Andy Roddick. Blake, however, is quietly making a run for the top spot after picking up his first PowerShares title with a 7-6 (5) win over McEnroe in Salt Lake City.

It’s hard to believe that Blake only just retired from the pro ranks this past fall at the ripe old age of 28. Hard to believe, maybe, but understandable given the toll that injuries have taken on his body over the years.

After struggling in qualifying rounds through most of the 2012 and 2013 seasons, Blake made his official retirement announcement at the 2013 US Open, after a first-round loss to Ivo Karlovic.

With pro tennis seemingly behind him, Blake looked ready finally enjoy some quality time with his wife and young daughter. But the lure of competition proved too strong, so five months later he’s back on the courts: hitting blistering forehands as though he never left, and having a good time with his old friends.

Blake’s first outing in Denver ended in a finals loss to Andre Agassi. His second was another finals loss to his good buddy Roddick in Houston. The third time definitely proved to be the charm, however, with his win in Salt Lake City. At this rate, McEnroe had better watch his back in Sacramento!

The Champions Shootout begins at 3PM with a special “Play with the Pros” on-court hitting session with Sampras and Blake, followed by a second session featuring McEnroe and Courier at 4PM. Semifinal match play begins at 6PM, with the winners advancing to the finals immediately afterward.

Kevin Ware is in Sacramento covering the Powershares event, The Champions Shootout as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his live updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN.  Follow his personal twitter @SFTennisFreak.

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Andre Agassi Beats James Blake To Win PowerShares Series Title In Houston

Agassi powershares

(February 21, 2014) HOUSTON –- Andre Agassi and James Blake played one of the most memorable U.S.
Open matches of all time in 2005, Agassi coming back from two-sets-to-love down
to win in a fifth-set tiebreaker in an epic quarterfinal. On Thursday night at
the Toyota Center, Agassi and Blake faced each other for the first time since
that U.S. Open classic, producing some familiar refrains from their defining
confrontation, albeit with considerably less tension, as Agassi again emerged
victorious 6-4 in the one-set championship match at the Camden Wealth Advisors
Cup, the sixth event on the 2014 PowerShares Series tennis circuit.

Agassi, playing in his first PowerShares Series tournament of the year, won a
furiously-fought final game of the match, breaking Blake’s serve in a 12-deuce
game and clinching the victory on his sixth match point. On Agassi’s first match
point, he stepped around a forehand return of serve and went for a winner
up-the-line, the exact shot he took on the ad-side of the court when up 7-6 in
the fifth-set tie-breaker from their famous 2005 match. While Agassi’s forehand
landed on the line for a winner to close out his win in 2005, his first attempt
Thursday landed in the net, causing Blake to shout to Agassi “Why didn’t you do
that at the Open!”

Agassi tried the exact same shot on his second match point two points later,
missing it wide. After he missed one other forehand return-of-serve on a match
point, Agassi finally closed out the win 18 points later when Blake netted a
forehand. The win was Agassi’s sixth of his career on the PowerShares Series,
the U.S. tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30.

Following the win, Agassi explained to reporters his motivations for continuing
to play competitive tennis on the PowerShares Series, that features one-night
events with two one-set semifinals and a one-set championship match over a
six-week season.

“I like not having as much drama and being able to take it in and enjoy it,”
Agassi said. “I like the format because it allows you to balance your life but
come out for one good go and sort of not worry about the training and the
how-far-can-I-push-myself kind of thing. It’s a nice contained evening and being
around the guys who you fought with for decades.”

In the semifinals earlier in the night, Agassi beat Jim Courier 6-4. Blake beat
Andy Roddick 6-3 in the other semifinal, avenging his loss the previous evening
in the tournament final in Denver.

With the tournament win, Agassi earned 400 points in the PowerShares Series
rankings. John McEnroe leads the rankings with 1200 points followed by Courier
with 900 points and Roddick with 500 points. Agassi sits in a tie for fourth
place with 400 points with Blake, who earned 200 points with a runner-up showing
for the second straight night. Michael Chang, Ivan Lendl and Mark Philippoussis
each have 300 points to rank in a three-way tie for sixth place.

The PowerShares Series continues Tuesday, February 25 in Salt Lake City when
Pete Sampras makes his 2014 PowerShares Series debut, joining Blake, Courier and
John McEnroe in the field.

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

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

et capitalization.

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Andy Roddick Beats James Blake For PowerShares Series Title In Denver

(L-R Andy Roddick, James Blake and John Isner)

(L-R Andy Roddick, James Blake and John Isner)


(February 19, 2014) Andy Roddick and James Blake, stalwarts on the U.S. Davis Cup team for 
a decade, reunited Wednesday as rookies on the 2014 PowerShares Series circuit 
competing in the “Champions Showdown” in the mile-high altitude of the Pepsi 
Center. However, both American tennis standouts were not on the same bench 
cheering for each other against the tennis teams of the rest of the world, but 
playing in a championship match on this tour for legend tennis players over the 
age of 30. Despite being a full year longer off the ATP World Tour than Blake, 
Roddick was able maintain his certain level of supremacy over Blake, beating the 
long-time U.S. Davis Cup No. 2 by a 6-3 margin in the one-set championship match 
in front of an appreciative Colorado crowd.

“It doesn’'t seem like a rivalry because he has always been by my side,” said 
Blake of Roddick after the final. “He’s been leading the pack for myself, Mardy 
Fish and Robby Ginepri. We both held up American tennis on our shoulders, but he 
was doing the heavy lifting, I was kind of drafting behind him. I was so proud 
to be a teammate with him on the Davis Cup team.”

The two charismatic Americans famously ended a 12-year Davis Cup drought for the 
United States in 2007, leading their country to the Davis Cup title in Portland, 
Oregon with a victory over Russia. In all, Blake and Roddick were teammates for 
15 U.S. Davis Cup ties from 2001 to 2009. Roddick ended his sure-to-be Hall of 
Fame career at the 2012 U.S. Open, while Blake followed suit exactly one year 
later at the same event last summer. The two joined the PowerShares Series 
circuit together for the first time this season – Wednesday marking Blake’s 
debut event while Roddick was baptized last week in winning the title in 
Birmingham, Alabama.

“It’s not really fair,” said Roddick before the final of playing Blake. “He’s 
still skinny. He’s been retired for like six weeks? I got a head start on 
retirement. He’s much skinner, athletic and good-looking” later adding that 
Blake, who studied for two years at Harvard before turning pro, was also “more 
educated.” 

With strong serving and benefiting from errors from Blake, Roddick raced out to 
a quick 3-0 lead in the final and held a break point to take a 4-0 lead before 
Blake settled into the match and held serve to get onto the scoreboard. With 
Roddick serving at 4-2, Blake was able to capitalize on a few untimely Roddick 
errors and became more aggressive on Roddick'’s second serve to break back. 
However, Blake missed four forehands in the next game to again drop serve before 
Roddick served out the match.

“The conditions were tough with the altitude,” said Roddick. “I think everyone 
had a little bit of trouble adjusting. There were some easy balls missed, maybe 
the ball was carrying a bit. It happens in baseball. It was definitely happening 
a bit out there too.”

In the semifinals, Roddick defeated Mark Philippoussis 6-3 in a battle of 
bruising serves played just six days after their meeting in Birmingham that 
gained notoriety for Philippoussis hitting Roddick in the groin directly with a 
serve. Video footage of the incident, seen here: http://m1e.net/c?117624096-JSxlYww6XwA7Y%4076384989-nV51/ng95zl/Q 
quickly became viral and ended up on the tail end of the monologue for famed 
comedian Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show” Tuesday night as seen here: 
http://m1e.net/c?117624096-Bp/Om9JLlTcsM%4076384990-bTR1M8cc0BYtY  Roddick was 
asked Wednesday in his pre-match interview with Tennis Channel’s Brett Haber if 
he was wearing body armor for his match with Philippoussis. Roddick laughed and 
said, “Playing Phlip, there is, apparently, a pretty good chance of getting hit 
in the schmeckle.”

Blake defeated current U.S. Davis Cup captain Jim Courier 6-3 in the other 
semifinal in the first professional meeting between the two American standouts.

With the tournament win, Roddick earned 400 points to tie Courier in the No. 2 
position in the PowerShares Series points races with 800 points. John McEnroe, 
who will return to the PowerShares Series next week in Salt Lake City, 
Sacramento and Portland, leads the rankings with 1200 points. Michael Chang, 
Ivan Lendl and Philippoussis each have 300 points to rank in a three-way tie for 
fourth place. Blake, who earned 200 points with his runner-up showing in Denver, 
sits in seventh place.

The PowerShares Series, the U.S. tennis circuit for legend tennis players over 
the age of 30, continues Thursday in Houston when Andre Agassi makes his 2014 
PowerShares Series debut, joining Blake, Roddick and Courier in the field. 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-zNR./DYCNPSYo%4076384991-hMi8wCUjvRXeI 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 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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John McEnroe Expands Role at ESPN to that of Radio Show Host

John McEnroe

(February 17, 2014) ESPN tennis analyst and Hall of Famer John McEnroe will expand his role beyond tennis to include year-round, non-tennis appearances on television and radio.  The 17-time Major winner (seven in singles, nine in doubles, one in mixed doubles) has worked the US Open for ESPN since 2009 and Wimbledon since 2012.

 

In addition to his work on tennis, McEnroe will serve as an analyst on SportsCenter discussing major topics of all sorts and handling sit-down interviews with top sports stars.  He also will make regular appearances on ESPN2’s Olbermann and on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike, also seen weekday mornings on ESPN2.  In addition, he also will also be heard on ESPN Radio New York (98.7 FM).

 

“Before John was a superstar in tennis, he was a sports fan…with sharp opinions and wit, as we’ve seen on our tennis productions,” said John Wildhack, ESPN executive vice president, programming and production.  “His no-holds barred insights and personality will enliven whatever program or platform he is on,”

 

John McEnroe said, “I am excited about my expanded role with ESPN.  It should be interesting and fun, as a life-long sports fan, to be able to voice my opinions on a variety of sports programs and forums, alongside some of the most talented people in the industry. The broad platform offered by ESPN makes it the perfect place for me to bring my point of view to all sports, not just tennis. ”

 

McEnroe won 77 singles titles in his career, highlighted by four US Open titles and three at Wimbledon.  He also won 10 more major championships in doubles or mixed doubles.  Although a loss, his five-set duel with Bjorn Borg in the 1980 Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Final – highlighted by McEnroe surviving an 18-16 fourth set tiebreak – is one of the most memorable events in tennis history.  An avid Davis Cup participant, he led the U.S. to five championships and later served as the team’s captain.  He also won the NCAA singles and team titles while attending Stanford.  In 2010, John founded the John McEnroe Tennis Academy in his hometown of New York City, where he is now working daily to develop the next great group of American tennis players.

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Andy Roddick Wins His Debut Powershares Event

Andy_Roddick_-_alternate-600x439

(February 13, 2014) BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Andy Roddick made his debut on the PowerShares Series
champions tennis circuit a successful one Thursday, fending off  John
McEnroe 7-5 to win the Champions Shootout at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention
Complex.

Roddick’’s debut event was a wildly entertaining affair highlighted by many of
his signature rocket serves and blistering forehands and by being hit directly
in the groin by a first serve by Mark Philippoussis in his semifinal match.

“”I had fun,”” said Roddick after the final of his Champions Series debut. ““I
honestly had no idea what to expect when I came out here. I hadn’’t played at
all. I enjoyed it. Those moments when you want to win and there’s tension in the
match – I haven’t had that for a while.””

The 31-year-old Roddick struggled to find his rhythm against McEnroe – 24 years
his senior – in the one-set championship match, admitting after that McEnroe’s
left-handed spins and serve-and-volleying threw him off.

““I was struggling during the match,” Roddick said. “I started thinking that I
don’t think I have hit with a left-hander since I stopped playing” (on the ATP
Tour).”

Roddick’’s first serve, which guided him to the 2003 U.S. Open title and the
world No. 1 ranking, was ultimately what carried him to victory against McEnroe.
After both players held serve for the first eight games of the match, McEnroe
took advantage of a Roddick double-fault at 40-30 and blistered an on-the-rise
forehand return-of-serve winner to secure a break point chance that would allow
him to serve for the match. Roddick, however, responded with an ace down the tee
to save the break point, followed by two more service winners down the tee to
hold serve and extinguish the threat.

After the two exchanged two more easy service holds, Roddick then broke McEnroe
at love to win the match, highlighted by a stretch backhand drop volley winner
and a running forehand up-the-line passing shot.
The buzz of the night, however, occurred in Roddick’s 6-3 semifinal win over
Mark Philippoussis when the Australian, nicknamed “Scud” for his monster first
serve, connected on a scorching first serve that hit Roddick directly in the
groin, causing a pause in play for about four-minutes before Roddick regrouped.

“”It was awkward,”” Roddick said of the direct hit inflicted by Philippoussis.
““That hurt. It really did.”” Roddick later predicted that the video of the
episode would probably be aired “27 times” on Fox Sports Live, the sports
television show he now reports for.

In his pre-match interview with event emcee and Tennis Channel broadcaster Brett
Haber before taking the court with Philippoussis, Roddick said of joining the
PowerShares Series just 17 months after leaving the ATP World Tour, “”You know
me, I can’t sit still long.”” Roddick also took pride in talking about his last
visit to the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center four years ago in leading
the United States to a 4-1 Davis Cup win over Switzerland.

“The win looks better now because I beat a guy named Wawrinka,” said Roddick of
beating the current Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka in 2009 in
Birmingham. “At the time, I was supposed to win but it has looked good the last
couple of weeks.”

McEnroe, playing three days before his 55th birthday, continued to show the
intensity and crafty play that earned him the tournament title in the opening
PowerShares Series event last week in Kansas City. He saved three match points
in his semifinal win over Jim Courier, winning the last five points of the
decisive tie-breaker to claim a 7-6 (8-6) win. Despite the final-round loss,
McEnroe maintained his lead atop the PowerShares Series points rankings after
the first three events, securing 200 points with his runner-up showing to
increase his total to 800 points. Courier, who won the title in Oklahoma City,
stays in second place with 600 points, while Roddick’’s 400 points for his title
places him in third place. Michael Chang, with 300 points, Ivan Lendl, with 200
points, and Philippoussis, with 100 points, round out the rankings after three
events.

The PowerShares Series, the U.S. tennis circuit for legend tennis players over
the age of 30, continues Friday, February 14 in Indianapolis, Indiana when
McEnroe, Courier and Philippoussis join Ivan Lendl in the field. 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-s4yOQ29EX/39E%4075022537-NDqqDHi4rEQgs 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:

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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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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John McEnroe Wins Opening 2014 PowerShares Series Tennis Event in Kansas City

John McEnroe

(February 5, 2013) KANSAS CITY – John McEnroe kicked off the 2014 PowerShares Series tennis circuit 
Wednesday night at the Sprint Center in frigid Kansas City beating both Ivan 
Lendl and Michael Chang back-to-back in one-set matches to win the title.

After defeating Lendl 6-4 in the opening semifinal, the 54-year-old McEnroe then 
immediately turned around to beat 41-year-old Michael Chang 6-4 in the final in 
front of a hearty and vocal crowd who braved single digit temperatures and a 
fresh half foot of snow.

"Michael is one of the greatest competitors ever," McEnroe said after the final. 
"He was serving big and I was having some trouble reading his shots. He fought 
hard and I played a few strong games there."

McEnroe broke Chang at love in the first game of the match before being broken 
himself the next game. Each player then held serve for the next six games, 
McEnroe still displaying the serve-and-volley tactics and deft touch around the 
net that guided him to seven major singles titles during his career. McEnroe 
then took advantage of crucial unforced errors from Chang in the ninth game of 
the set to collect the vital service break. Serving for the match, McEnroe 
sealed the championship by hitting two aces and a service winner on the final 
three points.

"I worked hard to keep it going for a couple of sets," said McEnroe, who first 
started playing organized "champions" tennis tournaments in 1995. "This format 
(of one-set matches) is good for me."

When asked to comment on starting his 20th year competing in "champions" tennis 
tournaments, McEnroe said, "Don't remind me."

As McEnroe was serving for the title at 5-4, a person in the crowd yelled "Come 
On Connors" - referencing another of McEnroe's biggest rivals Jimmy Connors. 
McEnroe hit a ball in the direction of the fan before serving out the match, 
then fired a shot to his rival in the on-court post-match interview, setting the 
stage for when he will renew his rivalry with Connors later this year on the 
PowerShares Series March 12 in Nashville and March 13 in Charlotte.

Quipped McEnroe, "Jimmy is from East St. Louis (Illinois) which is not that far 
from here and I think he's got one fan left in the area."

Chang, the 1989 French Open champion, advanced to the championship match by 
beating former world No. 1 and current U.S. Davis Cup captain Jim Courier 6-4 in 
the other semifinal.

PowerShares Series, the U.S. tennis circuit for legend tennis players over the 
age of 30, continues Thursday night in Oklahoma City when McEnroe again faces 
Lendl and Chang again plays Courier. McEnroe is also scheduled to compete in 
Birmingham, Alabama on Feb. 13, Indianapolis on Feb. 14, Salt Lake City on Feb. 
25, Sacramento on Feb. 26, Portland, Oregon on Feb. 27, Nashville on March 12 
and Charlotte on March 13. 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?117624096-8Mwr0LiorTQL.%4073198612-GXpgePctRkQnk 
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 6, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Chesapeake Energy Arena - Ivan 
Lendl, John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Michael Chang

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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Andy Roddick and James Blake Join 2014 Powershares Series

AndyRoddickday1daviscuo2011TennisPanormaNews-600x450

(October 15, 2013) NEW YORK, NY – – InsideOut Sports & Entertainment announced the dates, venues and fields for the 2014 PowerShares Series tennis circuit, highlighted by the debuts of Andy Roddick and James Blake, who will join the 12-city tour and play alongside tennis legends such as Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors.

The PowerShares Series will kick off on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 in Kansas
City and will conclude March 21 in Surprise, Arizona. Players competing on the
2014 circuit are Roddick, Blake, Sampras, Agassi, McEnroe, Connors, Ivan Lendl,
Mats Wilander, Jim Courier, Michael Chang, Todd Martin and Mark Philippoussis.
Each event will feature two one-set semifinal matches, followed by a one-set
championship match.

An exclusive USTA member pre-sale offering a 15% discount for USTA members
begins today. Tickets and unique VIP fan experience packages will go on sale to
the general public next Tuesday, October 22. Tickets start at $25 and all ticket
and VIP information is available at www.PowerSharesSeries.com.

““We are excited to welcome Andy Roddick and James Blake as they
join our eighth year of Champions Series tennis and look forward to seeing them,
along with the other legendary players, compete and entertain crowds around the
United States this season,” “ said Jon Venison, Partner at InsideOut Sports &
Entertainment.

“I am looking forward to playing on the PowerShares circuit,” said Roddick.
“Having a chance to stay connected with tennis and compete on a limited basis
through events like these fits perfectly with my life these days.”

““It’s going to be exciting to start a new chapter of my tennis life playing on
the PowerShares Series circuit,”” said Blake. ““Having just retired from the ATP
tour, you’d think I have an advantage over some of the guys, but players like
Andy, Andre and Pete are so talented and competitive that is going to be a great
challenge for me to win some titles. I look forward to the challenge.””

The full 2014 PowerShares Series schedule with field of players are as follows:

Wednesday, February 5, Kansas City, Missouri, Sprint Centre – Ivan Lendl, John
McEnroe, Jim Courier, Michael Chang

Thursday, February 6, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Chesapeake Energy Arena – Ivan
Lendl, John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Michael Chang

Thursday, February 13, Birmingham, Alabama, BJCC – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick,
Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis

Friday, February 14, Indianapolis, Indiana, Bankers Life Fieldhouse – John
McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 12, Nashville, Tennessee, Bridgestone Arena – John McEnroe,
Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors, Mats Wilander

Thursday, March 13, Charlotte, North Carolina, Time Warner Arena – John McEnroe,
Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors, Mats Wilander

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

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Tennis Legends Gather At ‘No. 1 Celebration’ To Commemorate 40 Years Of Emirates ATP Rankings

 

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.

No. 1 Celebration  Nadal, Federer

“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.”

Watch Highlights Of No. 1 Celebration

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.”

Year-End No. 1s  McEnroe, Djokovic

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.

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McEnroe Splits Pair As Orange County Breakers Top New York Sportimes, 21-13

 

John McEnroe photo by ©Jacque Medina

ALBANY, July 18, 2013 – On a night in which Tennis Hall of Famer John McEnroe made his first appearance of the year for the NY Sportimes, it was Orange County’s Coco Vandeweghe and Steve Johnson who stole the show, winning two events apiece to pace the visiting Breakers to a 21-13 Mylan World TeamTennis win at SEFCU Arena in Albany, N.Y. Thursday.

Johnson picked up a 5-3 win over his men’s singles counterpart, Jesse Witten, before McEnroe teamed with Kveta Peschke to provide the Sportimes’ only event win, a 5-0 whitewashing of Maria Elena Camerin and Trent Huey in mixed doubles, giving the hosts a brief, 8-5 lead. But Huey turned the tables in men’s doubles, pairing with Johnson to upend McEnroe and Robert Kendrick, 5-2, for a 10-10 halftime tie.

The first set [mixed doubles with Kveta Peschke] was great,” said McEnroe. Kveta is a great doubles player to play with.”

It was all Breakers (6-3) after that, with Vandeweghe topping Anna-Lena Groenefeld, 5-2, then along with partner Camerin handing Groenefeld and Peschke their first women’s doubles defeat of the Mylan WTT season, 5-1, to win going away.

“It was kind of like a rollercoaster in a way,” added McEnroe. “It started bad, then we got on a roll but then it all derailed. But that’s why World TeamTennis is fun. It’s unpredictable.”

The Sportimes (4-5) dropped their second straight, finishing the Albany portion of their home schedule at 3-2. McEnroe will lead the squad as they battle the Texas Wild on Monday at SPORTIME Randall’s Island in the first of two matches held there. On Tuesday the Sportimes close the home season with a matchup with the Washington Kastles.

Orange County moved into first place in the Mylan WTT Western Conference with the win, pending the outcome of the late Springfield vs. Sacramento match this evening.

Mylan World TeamTennis

Orange County Breakers def. NEW YORK SPORTIMES 20-13

Men’s Singles – Steve Johnson (Breakers) def. Jesse Witten (Sportimes) 5-3

Mixed Doubles – Kveta PeschkeJohn McEnroe (Sportimes) def. Maria Elena CamerinTreat Huey (Breakers) 5-0

Men’s Doubles – Treat HueySteve Johnson (Breakers) def. Robert KendrickJohn McEnroe (Sportimes) 5-2

Women’s Singles – Coco Vandeweghe (Breakers) def. Anna-Lena Groenefeld (Sportimes) 5-2

Women’s Doubles – Maria Elena CamerinCoco Vandeweghe (Breakers) def. Anna-Lena GroenefeldKveta Peschke (Sportimes) 5-1

 

Mylan World TeamTennis presented by GEICO – Results for Thursday, 7/18

(Home teams in capital letters)

FINAL RESULTS – All matches complete:

Orange County Breakers def. NEW YORK SPORTIMES 20-13

Men’s Singles – Steve Johnson (Breakers) def. Jesse Witten (Sportimes) 5-3

Mixed Doubles – Kveta Peschke\John McEnroe (Sportimes) def. Maria Elena Camerin\Treat Huey (Breakers) 5-0

Men’s Doubles – Treat Huey\Steve Johnson (Breakers) def. Robert Kendrick\John McEnroe (Sportimes) 5-2

Women’s Singles – Coco Vandeweghe (Breakers) def. Anna-Lena Groenefeld (Sportimes) 5-2

Women’s Doubles – Maria Elena Camerin\Coco Vandeweghe (Breakers) def. Anna-Lena Groenefeld\Kveta Peschke (Sportimes) 5-1

 

SPRINGFIELD LASERS def. Sacramento Capitals 20-19 (7-2 STB)

Men’s Doubles – Jean-Julien Rojer\Rik De Voest (Lasers) def. Ryan Sweeting\Mark Knowles (Capitals) 5-2

Mixed Doubles – Alisa Kleybanova\Jean-Julien Rojer (Lasers) def. Olga Govortsova\Ryan Sweeting (Capitals) 5-3

Men’s Singles – Ryan Sweeting (Capitals) def. Rik De Voest (Lasers) 5-3

Women’s Singles – Olga Govortsova (Capitals) def. Alisa Kleybanova (Lasers) 5-1

Women’s Doubles – Vania King\Alisa Kleybanova (Lasers) def. Megan Moulton-Levy\Olga Govortsova (Capitals) 5-4

Supertiebreaker – Women’s Doubles – Vania King\Alisa Kleybanova (Lasers) def. Megan Moulton-Levy\Olga Govortsova (Capitals) 1-0 (7-2)

 

Standings

Eastern Conference              MP      W        L         PCT    MB

Washington Kastles                8          6          2          0.750   –

New York Sportimes              9          4          5          0.444   2.5

Boston Lobsters                      9          3          6          0.333   3.5

Philadelphia Freedoms            8          2          6          0.250   4

 

Western Conference             MP      W        L         PCT    MB

Orange County Breakers        9          6          3          0.667   –

Springfield Lasers                   9          6          3          0.667   0

Texas Wild                              9          5          4          0.556   1

Sacramento Capitals               9          3          6          0.333   3

 

Next Matches: 7/19/2013

Sacramento Capitals @ BOSTON LOBSTERS, 7:00 PM (EDT)

Orange County Breakers @ PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS, 7:00 PM (EDT)

Washington Kastles @ TEXAS WILD, 7:35 PM (CDT)

 

For live scoring and complete player / match statistics, please visit www.WTT.com

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