BOSTON, (Oct. 1, 2011) – Andre Agassi squared off against one of his longest rivals and upped his game to beat Jim Courier 8-5, in the championship match of the Staples Champions Cup at the TD Garden. It was his first victory of the 2011 Champions Series.
“Beating Jim is never easy, and it never has been,” said Agassi, who moved into a tie for second with Courier and Michael Chang in the official 2011 Champions Series rankings. “I got off to a good start tonight, and that was the difference. Jim and I have been competing against one another our whole lives, so it was our pleasure to be here in front of these fans tonight. Winning is a nice surprise.”
One of the night’s more memorable moments occurred midway through the eight game pro-set final, when Courier handed his racket to ballboy Jimmy Ye. The 16-year-old had no fear, as he stepped up to face a serve from Agassi and drilled a forehand winner past the champ, as the crowd roared. “That may have been the loudest ovation of the evening, and it was certainly something that young man will never forget,” said Courier.
Agassi advanced to the final with a 7-5 triumph over the legendary Ivan Lendl, who was making his first Series appearance of the year. Courier exacted some revenge on Michael Chang in the first semifinal, when he defeated him 6-3. Chang had won both of this year’s previous Champions Series meetings with Courier.
For the victory, Agassi earned 400 points in the official 2011 Champions Series rankings. Pete Sampras remains on top with 900 points, with Agassi, Courier and Chang all now tied for second place with 800 points each after five events. The top 3 finishers at the end of the 2011 Champions Series will share a one million dollar bonus pool.
The Champions Series resumes next Saturday night when the tour moves to Surprise, Arizona for the CTCA Championships, featuring Agassi, Chang, Courier and John McEnroe. Tickets and unique interactive VIP fan experiences for the 2011 Champions Series are on sale to the general public and start at $35. Tickets are available at venue box offices, all Ticketmaster locations, 202-397-SEAT or online at www.ticketmaster.com.
The 2011 Champions Series is a competitive tennis circuit featuring legendary tennis icons and world-renowned champions. The 12-city tour of one-night tournaments is being played in major U.S. arenas from September 22 – October 22.
Semifinal 1: Courier def. Chang, 6-3
Semifinal 2: Agassi def. Lendl, 7-5
Final: Agassi def. Courier, 8-5