JAMES BLAKE BEATS JOHN McENROE TO WIN 2016 POWERSHARES SERIES OPENER IN CHICAGO
James Blake won the opening event on the 2016 PowerShares Series tennis circuit Friday defeating John McEnroe 6-4 in the one-set championship match at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago.
The tournament win was the fifth career title for Blake on the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30. All four previous titles for Blake also came beating McEnroe in the final – in Salt Lake City in 2014 (7-6), Sacramento in 2014 (6-3), Boston in 2015 (7-5) and Cincinnati in 2015 (6-2).
Blake, 36, broke McEnroe in his first service game of the match and never looked back in the final, serving at a high percentage on the slick indoor court. McEnroe, who turned 57 on February 16, returned to the UIC Pavilion 25 years after he won his 77th and final ATP singles titles of his career there in a memorable final against younger brother Patrick McEnroe in 1991. He opened the 10th anniversary season of the PowerShares Series by beating Mardy Fish 7-6 (3) in the opening semifinal match, saving a match point serving at 4-5. Fish, 34, was playing in his debut PowerShares Series event and as a replacement for an injured Jim Courier. Blake advanced into the final with a 6-3 win over Andre Agassi.
Each PowerShares Series event features two one-set semifinal matches and a one-set championship match and, for the second straight year, players make their own line calls with assistance of electronic line-calling.
The remaining 2016 PowerShares Series schedule with player fields are listed below and ticket, schedule and player information can be found at www.PowerSharesSeries.com;
April 9 Charleston (Family Circle Tennis Center) – Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, James Blake, Mardy Fish
April 14 St. Louis (Chaifetz Arena) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake
April 22 Memphis (Landers Center) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis
April 23 Tulsa (BOK Center) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis
July 17 Newport, R.I. (International Tennis Hall of Fame) – Andy Roddick, James Blake + 2 Players TBA
August 21 Winston-Salem, N.C. (Wake Forest University) – Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake, Mardy Fish
August 25, 26 New Haven (Yale University) – Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, James Blake, Mardy Fish
November 4 Portland, Oregon (Moda Center) – Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mardy Fish and TBA
November 5 Denver (1stBank Center) – Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake and TBA
December 1 Orlando (Amway Arena) – Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake
December 3 New York (Barclays Center) – Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake
In 2015, Andy Roddick won the PowerShares Series points title in his second year of competing on the series with 1,600 points. Roddick won a record eight events Los Angeles, Lincoln, Chicago, Austin, Little Rock, Dallas, Richmond and Minneapolis. Blake finished second in the points rankings with 1,200 points, winning events in Boston and Cincinnati. Mark Philippoussis finished in third with 1,100 points, winning titles in Salt Lake City and Vancouver. The year before 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.
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InsideOut Sports + Entertainment is a Los Angeles based producer of proprietary events and promotions founded in 2004 by former world No. 1 and Hall of Fame tennis player Jim Courier and former SFX and Clear Channel executive Jon Venison. In 2005, InsideOut launched its signature property, the Champions Series, a collection of tournaments featuring the greatest names in tennis over the age of 30. In addition, InsideOut produces many other successful events including “Legendary Night” exhibitions, The World Series of Beach Volleyball and numerous corporate outings. Since inception, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment has raised over $4 million for charity. In 2014, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment merged with Horizon Media, the largest privately held media services agency in the world. For more information, please log on to www.InsideOutSE.com or www.powersharesseries.com or follow on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
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