McEnroe Finally Wins First Outback Champions Series Title

BOSTON, Mass., May 4 – John McEnroe won his first ever title on the Outback Champions Series at the $150,000 Champions Cup Boston Sunday, rallying from a set down to defeat fellow American Aaron Krickstein 5-7, 6-3, 10-5 (Champions Tie Break) in the championship match at the Agganis Arena. Playing in his 13th career event on the Outback Champions Series, the four-year-old global tennis circuit for champion tennis players age 30 and over, McEnroe earned $54,000 and 800 Champions Series points that enabled him to tie Jim Courier for the No. 1 spot in the Stanford Champions Rankings.

Courier won Sunday’s third-place match, defeating Wayne Ferreira of South Africa 6-4 6-2.

The 49-year-old McEnroe, who earlier this year said he would start to scale back his competitive tournament appearances, enjoyed an incredibly successful week in Boston, beating Courier 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday and handing seven-time Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras his first ever loss on the Outback Champions Series in a 2-6, 7-5, 10-4 (Champions Tie-Break) victory Friday night. His match with Krickstein Sunday was highlighted by many long rallies and strong play from the baseline. In the first set, Krickstein broke McEnroe at 5-5 and hit three aces on his serve to take the opening set. McEnroe took the second set with his aggressive net play and rode the momentum to victory in the Champions Tie Break.

“For my favorite fan base – 75-year old women – this proves to you that you can still be young at an advanced age,” said McEnroe, who previously lost Outback Champions Series singles finals in Boston in 2006, Newport, R.I., in 2007 and Naples, Fla., in 2008. “I’ve been playing for a couple of years with frustration and wondering if I was ever going to win again. If you had told me I would have to play Courier and Sampras, I thought I was screwed. Aaron was playing really well, but I found another gear in the tiebreaker. I knew I could win if I played the way I was capable of.”

Krickstein, 40, said that he wasn’t able to utilize his opportunities in the match.

“I didn’t take advantage of second serves,” said Krickstein, who was also seeking his first-ever Outback Champions Series tournament victory. “I thought John served extremely well in the second set. He got first serves when he needed it. I didn’t really have a lot of chances to break.”

In the third place match, Courier effectively used his serve and trademark flat forehand to dominate Ferreira throughout the match.

:”I really needed to play well to take Wayne out today,” said Courier. “We just played in the finals in Cayman Islands a few weeks ago, so I knew it would be a tough one. I played my best match of the week by a long shot. I was aggressive, I served well, and I felt good on the court. I couldn’t be happier with the way I played.”

Ferreira had high praise for Courier’s performance in the match.

“I thought Jim played very, very well,” said Ferreira. “I didn’t serve as well as I would have liked, but he came out firing. He was just better than me today.”

After three events on the eight-event schedule on the 2008 Outback Champions Series, Courier and McEnroe each have 1600 points, followed by Ferreria with 950 points in third place and Aaron Krickstein and Todd Martin with 900 points and Jimmy Arias with 700 points. Complete Stanford Champions Rankings can be found at www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com. The Stanford Champions Rankings determine the year-end champion on the Outback Champions Series and the winner of a $100,000 year-end bonus.

Founded in 2005, the Outback Champions Series features eight events where champion tennis players continue to exercise their competitive instincts in tournament formats. To be eligible to compete on the Outback Champions Series, players must have either; reached a Grand Slam singles final, been ranked in the top five in the world or played singles on a championship Davis Cup team. Each event also has the right to choose a “wild card” entrant.

InsideOut Sports & Entertainment is a New York City-based independent 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 Outback Champions Series, a collection of tennis events featuring the greatest names in tennis over the age of 30. In addition, InsideOut produces many other successful events including one-night “Legendary Night” exhibitions as well as corporate outings, charity events and tennis fantasy camps, including the annual Ultimate Fantasy Camp. For more information, please log on to www.InsideOutSE.com or www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com

RESULTS FOR THE 2008 CHAMPIONS CUP BOSTON

Wednesday, April 30
Wayne Ferreira, South Africa, def. Mikael Pernfors, Sweden, 6-2, 6-2
Aaron Krickstein, United States, def. MaliVai Washington, United States, 6-2, 6-2

Thursday, May 1
Pete Sampras, United States, def. Jimmy Arias, United States, 4-5, ret.
John McEnroe, United States, def. Jim Courier, United States, 6-4, 6-4

Friday, May 2
Aaron Krickstein, United States, def. Wayne Ferreira, South Africa, 5-7, 7-5, 10-8 (Champions Tie Break)
Mikael Pernfors, Sweden, def. Malivai Washington, United States, 6-3, 6-1
Jim Courier, United States, def. Jimmy Arias, United States, walkover.
John McEnroe, United States, def. Pete Sampras, United States, 2-6, 7-5, 10-4 (Champions Tie Break)

Saturday, May 3
Wayne Ferreira, South Africa, def. MaliVai Washington, United States, 6-3, 3-6, 11-9 (Champions Tie Break)
John McEnroe, United States, def. Jimmy Arias, United States, walkover.
Aaron Krickstein, United States, def. Mikael Pernfors, Sweden, 6-2, 6-3.
Jim Courier, United States, def. Pete Sampras, United States, walkover.

Sunday, May 4
Beginning at 2:30 pm
Jim Courier, United States, def. Wayne Ferreira, South Africa, 6-4, 6-2
John McEnroe, United States, def. Aaron Krickstein, United States, 5-7, 6-3, 10-5 (Champions Tie Break)