2014/08/01

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

Share

Agassi Claims Final PowerShares Series Event of Year; Courier Wins Year-End Points Title

(November 30, 2012) ANAHEIM, CA – Andre Agassi won his third PowerShares Series event of the season when he dispatched hometown favorite and Orange County’s own Michael Chang, 8-4 in the championship match of the Acura Champions Cup at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA.

 

“It’s a real blessing for all of us guys that grew up together to be playing out here on this platform, and to give back to the game that has given us so much,” said Agassi, in front of an adoring Southern California crowd. “Regardless of how we finish, we all have a great time competing against one another, and I really enjoyed the PowerShares Series again this season. I look forward to coming back in 2013.”

 

Agassi closed out the evening and the 2012 Series in dramatic style, as he and Chang waged a ferocious battle with Agassi leading 7-4, and on the verge of winning the event. With Chang serving, Agassi failed to convert 10 match points, as Chang did everything he could to stay alive. But on the 11th attempt, Agassi secured the victory when he forced Chang into a backhand error.

 

In the evening’s first semifinal, Chang played inspired tennis in front of his friends and family, as he beat Courier, 6-4. In the second semifinal, Agassi was in control from the beginning and spoiled John McEnroe’s chance at winning the overall points title, with a 6-2 triumph. Had McEnroe won the event tonight, he would have secured the #1 ranking for the season and the $500,000 first prize, which went to Courier.

 

For all news, scores, and stories regarding the entire 2012 PowerShares Series, log on to www.powersharesseries.com.

TONIGHT’S SCORES
Semifinal 1: Chang def. Courier, 6-4
Semifinal 2: Agassi def. McEnroe, 6-2
Final: Agassi def. Chang, 8-4

FINAL 2012 POWERSHARES SERIES RANKINGS
1. Courier 1500
2. *Agassi 1400
3. McEnroe 1400
4. Sampras 1100
5. Rafter 800
6. Chang 700
7. Lendl 400
8. Martin 200
Wilander 200
* Agassi wins tiebreaker on head-to-head record

 

Share

McEnroe Grabs Second PowerShares Series Title of Season in Denver

(November 29, 2012) DENVER – John McEnroe rose to the occasion and played some of his best tennis of the 2012 PowerShares Series season when he fought back from a 6-5 deficit to win the last three games to beat Michael Chang, 8-6 in the finals of the Jeep Championships, presented by Cancer Treatment Centers of America at the Pepsi Center in Denver, CO.

 

McEnroe’s victory allowed him to gain 200 points and move within 100 of Series leader Jim Courier, heading into the final event of the year Friday night in Anaheim. McEnroe will need to win again in order to steal the title from Courier.

 

“I had some great crowd support tonight, and that really fired me up,” said McEnroe. “The ball bounces a little differently here in Denver’s thin air, but it’s really big for me to get this win. I’ll be pretty pumped to play again tomorrow night, with the whole season on the line.”

 

In the evening’s first semifinal, McEnroe got off to a great start by breaking Jim Courier’s serve and survived a grinding back and forth tussle to advance with a 6-4 triumph. For McEnroe, it was just his second victory over Courier in six tries on the 2012 PowerShares Series.

 

In the second semifinal, Michael Chang played the spoiler role by erasing any chance that Andre Agassi had of winning the year-end points title, when he managed to get past Agassi in a tense tiebreaker, 7-6 (9-7). The two players waged a fierce, back-and-forth battle en route to the breaker, and Agassi was able to hold off three match points, before the fourth finally got him. It was Chang’s first trip to the finals of the 2012 season.

 

The 2012 PowerShares Series reaches its conclusion Friday night, November 30 with the same four players in action, when they take the court for the Acura Champions Cup at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. Agassi will need to win his semifinal match against John McEnroe, in order to pass Pete Sampras and finish among the top three of the point standings and receive a share of the $1,000,000 PowerShares Series purse. McEnroe can take the year end title with another win in Anaheim but if he is unable to grab the title, Courier will finish the season as the #1 ranked player and collect the $500,000 first prize.

 

For news, scores, and stories regarding the entire 2012 PowerShares Series, log on to www.powersharesseries.com.

TONIGHT’S SCORES
Semifinal 1: McEnroe def. Courier, 6-4
Semifinal 2: Chang def. Agassi, 7-6 (9-7)
Final: McEnroe def. Chang, 8-6

UPDATED 2012 POWERSHARES SERIES RANKINGS
1. Courier 1500
2. McEnroe 1400
3. Sampras 1100
4. Agassi 1000
5. Rafter 800
6. Chang 600
7. Lendl 400
8. Martin 200
Wilander 200

On the Web

www.powersharesseries.com

Share

McEnroe, Courier, and Rafter Discuss Anti-Doping Efforts in Tennis

By Amy Fetherolf‏

(November 6, 2012) Since the release of the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s report on how Lance Armstrong gamed the system to avoid testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, many have questioned whether something similar could happen in tennis.

 

Indeed, one of the doctors implicated in the Armstrong case for orchestrating a doping regime for the entire United States Postal Service cycling team also treated tennis players, including Sara Errani and Dinara Safina.

 

When asked about doping in tennis at a PowerShares Series event in Philadelphia, John McEnroe expressed confidence in the International Tennis Federation’s anti-doping program.

 

“I think you can take any sport, but I think it’s as rigorously tested as any sport other than the Olympics that I’m aware of,” McEnroe said. “Maybe more so than any other sport, whether it’s football, basketball. I’ll bet you there’s way more testing and way more stringent testing in tennis than in any of those team sports.”

 

Jim Courier also backed the ITF’s anti-doping program.

 

“We use WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency), and we’re on the Olympic Code, which is a pretty stringent code. Players do out-of-competition testing that’s unannounced. They have to give their whereabouts for one hour of the day, every day of the year. If they’re not where they say they are, that counts as a positive test against them. We have the rules in place. We have, I think, the best drug testing system around that I’m aware of.”

 

“No idea [if it’s a problem in tennis]. I hope to think there’s not,” Patrick Rafter said. “I think there’s always a case here and there, but I don’t think it’s a big problem like cycling was. I hope there’s not an issue, but there’s always the potential.”

 

Though Courier put his support behind the ITF’s testing program, he acknowledged that there was opportunity for players to take advantage of the system.

 

“I think that given the great rewards that are out there in tennis, and given human nature, people will cut corners where you give them leeway to do so. I think you have to put your head in the sand to think that people wouldn’t try and cut corners given what’s on the line if you do well in our sport. Look at Wall Street. People cut corners there because there are great monetary rewards. Anywhere you go in the world, this is human nature. We’re not immune to that. I don’t think we have a problem, but we’re not immune to that.”

 

“Everyone wants to see a situation where there’s a level playing field,” McEnroe said. “So it continues to be something that would be an issue for all sports, I would think.”

Amy Fetherolf‏  was in Philadelphia covering the PowerShares event for Tennis Panorama. She is the founder of the tennis news site Drop Shot Dispatch and a co-founder of the new tennis site The Changeover.  Follow her on twitter at @AmyFetherolf.

Share

McEnroe, Courier and Rafter Weigh in on Big Four Debate

By Amy Fetherolf‏

(November 5, 2012) PHILADELPHIA - Ever since 2003 when Roger Federer burst onto the tennis scene and began an era of domination, which now extends to the so-called “Big Four” of Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, and Novak Djokovic, the tennis world has questioned how long it can go on.

As the 2012 tennis season wraps up, with just the World Tour Finals left, that question remains unanswered. Each of the Big Four captured one Slam title apiece this year.

“At some stage, things will change. It’s not a question of if, it’s when,” John McEnroe said at a Philadelphia stop on the PowerShares Series Tour. “But it’s hard to say when exactly that will be. Obviously Nadal’s health is an issue, and Roger’s not getting any younger. I suspect that you’ll see these guys hopefully around for a couple more years.”

Jim Courier expressed admiration for the way the Big Four have sustained their success, winning an astonishing 30 of the last 31 Majors.

“I think what the top four have done has been unprecedented as far as the level of consistency they’ve shown, and the level of dominance they’ve shown over the field,” Courier said.

“I just don’t know how they can keep it up. Honestly, the physical taxation that the game takes from them, the mental toll it takes, all the sponsorship requirements, all the pressure that’s on them to perform every week. I’m in awe of their consistency.”

The second tier of players stands separated from the top four by a Grand Canyon-like gulf. The three strongest contenders, Juan Martin del Potro (the only non-Big Four man to win a Slam since 2005), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Tomas Berdych, struggle to earn wins over the Big Four. In 2012 against Federer, Djokovic, Nadal, and Murray, Tsonga was 0-7, del Potro was 2-8, and Berdych was 2-7.

“You’ve got guys like del Potro, Tsonga, Berdych, Ferrer,” Patrick Rafter said. “Roger’s not playing like he was five years ago, that’s just a simple fact. He’s still putting himself in contention to win Grand Slams, but he’s not going to be as dominant as he was. And Nadal is having problems as well. You can see Djokovic and Murray certainly hanging around, but Nadal’s a big question mark, and Roger’s slowing down, but I think he’ll still be around in the mix. There’s definitely room for the new guys coming up.”

But Courier was reluctant to write off a few more years of Big Four domination.

“We haven’t seen any cracks in that façade, really,” Courier said. “It’s been again a year where the Big Four won all the Majors, and this year it’s been a true split. So I think it’s even more interesting from that standpoint. Who’s going to wrestle control the way Novak did in 2011? This year was more up for grabs, and Murray certainly has become a bigger part of the competition.”

McEnroe feels that del Potro is the most promising non-Big Four contender to win a Major in 2013.

“If I had to pick one guy that would win a Major if he remains healthy, it would probably be del Potro,” McEnroe said. “He’s won one, so it wouldn’t be a total shock. He’s put himself back in the position to do that. There’s a handful of guys who could do it, and someone’s going to do it, but he’d be the one guy I’d have to pick over anyone else.”

Courier agreed with McEnroe’s sentiment on the Argentinian.

“I love del Potro’s game,” Courier said. “I think he’s one of the few guys who really has the weaponry to stand up against those top four guys on a consistent basis. He needs some good fortune with his health, that’s been a problem for him. If he can stay healthy, I think he certainly has the tools to be in that conversation.”

Amy Fetherolf‏  was in Philadelphia covering the PowerShares event for Tennis Panorama. She is the founder of the tennis news site Drop Shot Dispatch and a co-founder of the new tennis site The Changeover.  Follow her on twitter at @AmyFetherolf.

Share

Patrick Rafter Tops John McEnroe in Philadelphia to Earn PowerShares Series Title

By Amy Fetherolf‏

(November 2, 2012) PHILADELPHIA – Tennis stars took over Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center on Friday night in a PowerShares Series event featuring John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Patrick Rafter, and Michael Chang. Rafter picked up the title in his first PowerShares Series appearance since 2009, defeating McEnroe, 8-4 in the final.

 

The four participating players combined for 14 Grand Slam titles during their illustrious ATP careers, and they showcased some of their old magic in a fan-friendly exhibition format.

 

To start the event, Courier took on McEnroe. The 53-year-old McEnroe, 11 years senior to his opponent, nevertheless displayed the finesse that earned him seven Grand Slam singles titles.

 

Down an early break in the set, and as shouts of encouragement, “Hey, Johnny!” and “Johnny Mac!” rang through the court, McEnroe clubbed a forehand down-the-line to break back, raising his arms in victory.

 

The crowd reveled in McEnroe’s occasional temperamental outbursts. He slapped at the net with his racquet after pushing a passing shot long, and chucked the racquet onto the tennis court so hard that it bounced off the rubbery playing surface.

 

Courier hit his trademark compact forehands with aplomb, but McEnroe outfoxed him with cleverly placed drop shots and deep returns that earned him the necessary break of serve. McEnroe took the one-set match 6-4.

 

Next, Rafter took on Chang for a chance to take on McEnroe in the final. Rafter’s serve-and-volley style against Chang’s defensive prowess made for an intriguing match-up on paper. But Rafter hardly looked like he’d missed a day on the ATP Tour. He breezed through the match, 6-2, hitting incredible volleys in the process.

 

In the final, it was mostly one-way traffic for Rafter. He and McEnroe, two of the sport’s greatest volleyers, battled each other for the edge up at the net. Rafter showed off his effortless backhand overhead volley, a shot that delighted the crowd.

Broken once, Rafter was able to break McEnroe’s iconic lefty serve three times to win the match.

 

“I’ve haven’t played too many competitive matches in awhile, but I moved really well, I’ve been doing a lot of fitness work back home, so I guess it all paid off,” Rafter said after the final. “You want to come out here and still play well. I’m still at an age where I feel like I can hit the ball okay, so I want to enjoy it while I can.”

 

“John puts me under a lot of pressure on my serve, and I felt it all the time. I always find him very difficult to play against. He’s unreal, he’s amazing.”

Amy Fetherolf‏ is the founder of the tennis news site Drop Shot Dispatch and a co-founder of the new tennis site The Changeover.  Follow her on twitter at  @AmyFetherolf.

Share

Montreal Welcomes Back its Legends

By Charles David Mathieu-Poulin

 

MONTREAL – On Monday night, the 2012 Women’s Rogers Cup in Montreal was launched with some impressive guests. In its annual Legends matches, now moved to the opening night for the first time, the local crowd cheered on Michael Chang, Jim Courier, Martina Hingis and Martina Navratilova as they exchanged groundstrokes and jokes at Uniprix Stadium.

 

While the four players received a large welcome, you could feel a sense of disappointment as Andre Agassi, the obvious star of the event, had to withdraw earlier this week due to a back injury. The American, always popular in Canada with his three titles in the 90s, had last been seen on this court in 2005 when he lost a close final to Rafael Nadal. “No one is more disappointed than me and I promise you that I will be back the first opportunity I have!”, Agassi mentioned in a statement.“ I want to extend my personal “best of luck” to one of the greatest tournaments in the world and some of tennis’ greatest fans!”

 

His substitute, Michael Chang did a great job in amusing the crowd, mixing his impressive defensive game with punchy serves and comments.  The former French Open champion overpowered his fellow countryman Courier throughout their singles set, which he won 8-6. The two were then joined by Hingis and Navratilova in an entertaining mixed doubles match, which combined on the same court an impressive total of 79 Grand Slam trophies.

 

Courier and Hingis had previously just been introduced to the Rogers Cup Hall of Fame, which recognized their contribution to the Canadian event.  They joined their popular colleague Navratilova, as well as other tennis greats such as Agassi, Seles, Courier, Sanchez-Vicario and Connors. Hingis, winner of the Rogers Cup in 1999 and 2000, revealed that the Rogers Cup was one of her favorite stops on the tour. ‘’It is an honor to be inducted in the Rogers Cup Hall of Fame!”, she said in flawless French to the impressed crowd. “This city loves its tennis and I always felt welcome in Montreal.”

 

The Legends were preceded on court by an exhibition match featuring local player Stephanie Dubois, who will be participating in her 8th consecutive Rogers Cup main draw, Vancouver 2010 Olympics medalists Alexandre Bilodeau (moguls, gold) and Joannie Rochette (figure skating, bronze), as well as numerous comedians, athletes and actors.

 

This night was the official start of this 2012 edition. Main draw matches will start on Tuesday morning, while the sixteen seeds will come in action starting Wednesday.
Charles David Mathieu-Poulin blogs for WtaQuebec www.wtaquebec.com, a website promoting local Quebec players. He is covering the Rogers Cup in Montreal for Tennis Panorama News. Follow him on twitter @earthstroke, follow his Montreal coverage on @TennnisNewsTPN.

Share

Pete Sampras retires in the 2nd set in an exhibition match with Michael Chang

By David Sweet

STANFORD, California – The Bank of the West Classic treated the crowd to the first of three exhibition matches featuring 1990s American tennis stars Pete Sampras, Michael Chang, and Jim Courier.

The first of these started the Wednesday night session, with Sampras taking on Chang.  Chang was lighthearted through the match, questioning line calls on Sampras serves – only to be proven wrong each time.

Generally the rule of thumb in this type of exhibition match is that each match goes into a tiebreak.  More tennis for the fans.  Once they got there, Sampras was all business.   He raced to the finish line.  7-6 Sampras.

Early in the second set Chang was in control, but Sampras turned on the magic that won him 14 Grand Slams to get to 5-4.  Chang struggled in this service game, until Sampras hit an errant mid-court backhand and suddenly grabbed his left calf.  No one thought much of it, but after Chang won the game to level it off at 5-5, Sampras shook his hand and retired from the match.

The crowd was very respectful of Sampras’ decision.  He was cheered as he left the court.  Sampras is scheduled for another exhibition match Thursday night versus Courier.

David Sweet is covering the Bank of the West Tennis Classic at Stanford University for Tennis Panorama News July 9 -15, 2012. Follow his live updates on @tennisnewsTPN and personal twitter account @davidsweetphoto, and ‘like’ his Facebook page “David Sweet Photography.” ‘Like’  the Tennis Panorama News Facebook page.

no images were found

Share

Tommy Haas Joins Delray Beach Field

Former champion Tommy Haas has been given a wild card to play in the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships (ITC) ATP World Tour event that begins Monday, February 27 at the Delray Beach Stadium & Tennis Center.

Haas, who won the tourney back in 2006, joins Xavier Malisse (2005 & 2007) and Ernests Gulbis (2010) in the field as former Delray Beach title winners. It will be the Bradenton resident’s fifth appearance, where he has compiled a 7-3 record.

The 33-year-old veteran is returning from hip and elbow surgery in 2011, but his record shows that he has successfully bounced back from serious injuries throughout his career.

 

After reaching No. 2 in the world in 2002, the 4-time Grand Slam semifinalist missed the entire 2003 season following shoulder surgery but climbed back to the Top 20 in 2006 beginning with his title in Delray Beach. He reached the Top 10 again in 2007 before more shoulder surgery, but by 2009 he was back in the Top 20, reaching the Wimbledon semifinals.

 

Haas, winner of 12 ATP World Tour titles in his 16-year career, is one of 32 players in a strong Delray beach field that includes headliners Andy Roddick and top seed John Isner.

 

The Delray Beach ITC opens with ATP Champions Tour action this Friday evening with two matches under the lights: Grand Slam champions Pat Cash vs Carlos Moya at 7:00 pm and Hall of Famer Ivan Lendl vs Jimmy Arias at 9:00 pm.

Share

The Montreal Rendezvous to Feature Agassi, Connors, Lendl and Chang

MSG Sports and StarGames Inc. announced on Thursday that the companies will join forces with evenko to  present The Montreal Rendezvous on March 2, 2012 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.

 

The Montreal Rendezvous, a collaboration between the Bell Centre’s production arm evenko, MSG Sports and StarGames Inc. is a new tennis event saluting the great past and current champions of the game which will make its debut in Montreal, Canada March 2, 2012 and showcase tennis icons Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl and Michael Chang competing in the inaugural winter tennis event.

The Montreal Rendezvous adds to MSG Sports and StarGames Inc.’s tennis platform which includes the annual BNP Paribas Showdown, the world’s most unique one-night tennis exhibition which debuted in 2008. The 2012 event is scheduled for March 5 at Madison Square Garden featuring matches between Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Sharapova as well as Andy Roddick against Roger Federer.  Past participants have included Federer, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Lendl, John McEnroe, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Kim Clijsters and Svetlana Kuznetsova.

“Expanding MSG Sports to include partnerships and events outside of our venues is a key part of the growth strategy for our business,” said Scott O’Neil, president, MSG Sports. “We have produced and promoted tennis events for more than 80 years at The World’s Most Famous Arena, and most recently had great success with the annual BNP Paribas Showdown produced in partnership with StarGames. We are excited to partner once again with StarGames, and new partner evenko, to expand our presence in the tennis world with The Montreal Rendezvous, which is sure to be another must-see night of tennis.”

 

“The growth of our partnership with MSG Sports opens up exciting new opportunities for us in tennis and other sports,” said StarGames President and Rendezvous Executive Producer Jerry Solomon. “Having MSG as part of the Rendezvous will help us establish it as an important annual event and a “must-have” ticket.”

 

The Montreal Rendezvous will feature matches that highlight two of the game’s great rivalries.  The evening will open with Jimmy Connors taking on Ivan Lendl in an 8 game pro-set.  Connors and Lendl faced each other 35 times in their careers with Lendl having bested Connors 22 times. Andre Agassi and Michael Chang will follow in a best of three set match.

For More information: http://www.stargamesinc.com/rendezvouspr.html

Share