STEVE G TENNIS: AGASSI WINS ANAHEIM; COURIER CROWNED POWERSHARES SERIES CHAMPION
During an exciting and unpredictable evening at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Jim Courier was crowned champion of the 2012 PowerShares Series.
Courier, along with Andre Agassi, Michael Chang and John McEnroe all competed at the Acura Champions Cup, the final event of the series. Courier led McEnroe by only 100 points in the overall standings so it was up to McEnroe to win the title outright in order to push Courier from the top spot.
The first semifinal of the evening saw local Orange County native Chang take on Courier. Spurred on by his hometown fans, Chang played some of his best tennis of the series to defeat Courier 6-4.
That left the door open for McEnroe to possibly win the series outright. But first, McEnroe had to beat Agassi in the second semi of the evening. Agassi, who entered Anaheim ranked third in the standings, had no shot at winning the overall series outright. But he was still looking to improve his ranking and thus take a bigger share of the over $1 million dollars in bonus pool money up for grabs.
Though McEnroe tried to stop Agassi, it wasn’t meant to be. Agassi assumed control early on and never relinquished it as he cruised to a 6-2 win.
The semifinal win by Agassi thus sealed Courier’s No. 1 ranking for the entire season. Courier picked up $500,000 in bonus pool money for having finished on top of the series rankings.
Agassi and Chang concluded the evening by facing off in the finals. In a similar tone to their last match in Denver the night before, both Agassi and Chang pushed each other through a tight pro-set early on. But Agassi opened up a 7-4 lead and looked poised to close out the match.
Chang, serving to stay in the match, refused to give in and fought off ten match points against him. Finally, Agassi converted on his 11th match point when Chang hit a backhand error giving Agassi the Anaheim title 8-4.
“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 later. “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.”
For his efforts, Agassi finished the series in second place while McEnroe finished third in the overall series rankings.
UPDATED 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
* Agassi wins tiebreaker on head-to-head record
For more information about the tour, visit www.powersharesseries.com