On This Day In Tennis History

Today, March 10, is a big day in tennis history for Hall of Famer Jim Courier, who, as excerpted from my book “ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY” ($19.95, New Chapter Press, www.newchapterpressmedia.com), won one of the first major titles of his career back in 1991 in Indian Wells, Calif. (the current day BNP Paribas Open). Also, back in 2006, Courier’s brainchild – the Outback Champions Series tennis circuit – debuted in Naples, Fla. Courier will be in Brazil later this week to compete in the Rio Champions Cup, the second of eight events on the 2009 Outback Champions Series. The full book excerpt is below.

2008 – A sell-out crowd of 19,690 that includes golf legend Tiger Woods pack Madison Square Garden in New York City for the NetJets Showdown exhibition match between Roger Federer and Pete Sampras. Federer, an owner of 12 major singles titles, edges 14-time major singles titlist Sampras in a third-set tie-breaker 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (6) in the sometimes competitive celebration of tennis. Says Sampras, “It was a great night for tennis.” Writes the Associated Press of the match, “There were moments when, if you squinted a bit, you would have sworn that was the Sampras of old, rather than an old Sampras. There were moments when, if you listened to the whip of the racket through the air, you would have been absolutely sure Federer was giving it his all. And then there were moments when, as you watched Sampras throw his racket to the ground in mock disgust or saw Federer raise an index finger to celebrate four aces in a single game, it didn’t really matter whether this match counted or not.” Says Federer after the match, “I don’t think winning or losing was really the issue tonight. I think we both tried to do our best and have a fun night, and that’s what it turned out to be.”

1991 – Twenty-year-old Jim Courier, ranked No. 26 in the world, wins his second career singles title, defeating No. 5 ranked Guy Forget 4-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4) to win the Newsweek Champions Cup in Indian Wells, Calif. “To win it – and it sounds like a cliché – but it’s a big honor for me,” says Courier.

2006 – The “champions” tennis circuit returns to the United States for the first time since 2001 as the Outback Champions Series begins in Naples, Fla., as Mats Wilander defeats Aaron Krickstein 2-6, 6-2, 10-2 in the opening round robin match of the series. Tour co-founder Jim Courier defeats Mikael Pernfors 6-2, 6-2 and, in the final match of the day, Pat Cash surprises John McEnroe 2-6, 7-6(5), 10-6 in the Champions Tie-break.

1971 – No. 1 seed Rod Laver is upset by Mark Cox of Great Britain 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 in the third round of the Australian Open in Sydney. No. 3 seed and fellow Australian John Newcombe is also upset, losing to Marty Riessen 7-6, 1-6, 7-6, 7-6.

1996 – In her second tournament in her second comeback attempt in professional tennis, Jennifer Capriati routs Shi-Ting Wang of Chinese Taipei 6-0, 6-0 in 43 minutes in the second round of the State Farm Evert Cup in Indian Wells, Calif.