Anders Jarryd

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25 Years Ago – Answer my question! The question, jerk!

It was 25 years ago on November 4, 1984 that John McEnroe performed one of his most famous temper tantrums. It was against Anders Jarryd in the semifinals of the Stockholm Open in Sweden where McEnroe loudly asked the chair umpire to “Ask my question. The question, jerk.” The official summary of the event is excerpted below from the book ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY ($19.95, New Chapter Press, www.Tennishistorybook.com) and the following two YouTube links provide some visual effect as well seen here  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8j0eqZKTjpk and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v16tKIAddmQ

1984 – John McEnroe conducts one of his worst on-court tirades of his career, slamming a ball into the stands, calling the chair umpire a jerk and slamming a soda can with his racquet during a change-over in a 1-6, 7-6, 6-2 semifinal win over Anders Jarryd at the Stockholm Open in Sweden. Says McEnroe, who is fined $2,100, “I’m mentally tired at the moment. That’s one of the reasons I lost my temper.” Says Jarryd, “It is very difficult to play against someone who behaves like McEnroe.” In the second game of the match, McEnroe hits a fan with a ball, giving him his first penalty of the match. Following the infraction, he goes on to lose the next 15 points of the match. Leading 4-2 in the second set, McEnroe exclaims to the chair umpire “Answer my question! The question, jerk!” causing for a point penalty for verbal abuse. After losing his serve for 4-3 moments later, McEnroe then slams a soda can with his racquet on the changeover, resulting in a game penalty.

Mondays With Bob Greene: I can’t believe this happened

Del Potro wins the US Open

STARS

(US Open)

Men’s singles:

Women’s singles: Kim Clijsters beat Caroline Wozniacki 7-5 6-3

Men’s doubles: Leander Paes and Lukas Dlouhy beat Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles 3-6 6-3 6-2

Women’s doubles: Serena Williams and Venus Williams beat Cara Black and Liezel Huber 6-2 6-2

Mixed doubles: Carly Gullickson and Travis Parrott beat Cara Black and Leander Paes 6-2 6-4

Boys’ singles: Bernard Tomic beat Chase Buchanan 6-1 6-3

Girls’ singles: Heather Watson beat Yana Buchina 6-4 6-1

Boys’ doubles: Cheng Peng Hsieh and Marton Fucsovics beat Julien Obry and Adrien Puget 7-6 (5) 5-7 10-1 (match tiebreak)

Girls’ doubles: Valeria Solovieva and Maryna Zanevska beat Elena Bogdan and Noppawan Lertcheewakarn 1-6 6-3 10-7 (match tiebreak)

Men’s wheelchair singles: Shingo Kunieda beat Maikel Scheffers 6-0 6-0

Men’s wheelchair doubles: Stephane Houdet and Stefan Olsson beat Maikel Scheffers and Ronald Vink 6-4 4-6 6-4

Women’s wheelchair singles: Esther Vergeer beat Korie Homan 6-0 6-0

Women’s wheelchair doubles: Esther Vergeer and Korie Homan beat Daniela DiToro and Florence Gravellier 6-2 6-2

OTHER:

Alberto Martin beat Carlos Berlocq 6-3 6-3 to win the AON Open Challenger in Genoa, Italy

SAYING

“When I would have a dream, it was to win the US Open, and the other one is to be like Roger. One is done.” – Juan Martin del Potro, after beating Roger Federer and winning the US Open men’s singles.

“Five was great, four was great, too. Six would have been a dream, too. Can’t have them all. I’ve had an amazing summer and a great run. I’m not too disappointed just because I thought I played another wonderful tournament.” – Roger Federer, after losing the US Open men’s singles final to Juan Martin del Potro.

“I can’t believe this happened. Because it still seems so surreal that in my third tournament back I won my second Grand Slam. Because it wasn’t in the plan. I just wanted to come here and get a feel for it all over again, play a Grand Slam so to start the next year I didn’t have to go through all the new experiences over.” – Kim Clijsters, who won her second straight US Open women’s title four years after her first title.

“I think that I’ll learn that it pays to always play your best and always be your best and always act your best no matter what. And I think that I’m young and I feel like in life everyone has to have experience that they take and that they learn from, and I think that’s great that I have an opportunity to still b e physically fit to go several more years and learn from the past.” – Serena Williams, after losing her semifinal to Kim Clijsters after receiving a point penalty on match point.

“I cannot really tell that I was playing bad. She was playing good.” – Kateryna Bondarenko, after losing to Yanina Wickmayer.

“Today, I could’ve been better in pretty much every part of my game, whether it was mental, forehand, backhand, return.” – Andy Murray, after losing his fourth-round match to Marin Cilic.

“I lost it myself because I made so many unforced errors. So many unforced errors, you can’t win against anybody. No chance.” – Svetlana Kuznetsova, after committing 69 unforced errors in her three-set loss to Caroline Wozniacki.

“I was thinking, every point, do the same, try to put the ball in the court. When you fight that way to the final point, you have many chances, and that’s what happened today.” – Juan Martin del Potro, after his quarterfinal win.

“I think the biggest weapon can be mental toughness. It doesn’t have to be a stroke or a shot or anything like that. If you’re mentally tough out there, then you can beat anyone.” – Melanie Oudin, after beating Maria Sharapova to advance to the fourth round.

STARTING NEW ERA

By winning the US Open, Juan Martin del Potro became only the third player to beat both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in the same tournament. He also became the first player this year to defeat the world’s top three players, having also beat Andy Murray in Madrid, Spain. Del Potro is the first South American to be in the US Open final since fellow Argentine Guillermo Vilas won in 1977, and the first South African to be in a Grand Slam final since Fernando Gonzalez of Chile lost to Federer in the 2007 Australian Open.

SO SWEET, SO WRONG

After he ran onto the court to kiss Rafael Nadal, a New York City man, Noam U. Aorta, was arrested and charged with trespassing. Aorta jumped out of the stands after Nadal beat Gael Monfils in a fourth-round match. “For me it wasn’t a problem. The guy was really nice,” Nadal said. “He said, ‘I love you,’ and he kissed me.” District Attorney Richard Brown called it “particularly disturbing” since Aorta made physical contact with Nadal, noting that Monica Seles was stabbed in 1993 by a spectator who jumped out of the stands in Hamburg, Germany.

SAFINA STILL ON TOP

Serena Williams lost the chance to move back into the number one spot on the women’s tennis tour. The American could have replaced Dinara Safina on the top of the rankings if she had successfully defended her US Open title. Instead, she lost to eventual champion Kim Clijsters in the semifinals and, consequently, will remain in the number two spot.

The US Open was the third tournament back for US Open champion Kim Clijsters since she ended her two-year retirement. And you need to play three tournaments to get a Sony Ericsson WTA Tour ranking. In this week’s rankings, Clijsters is number 19 in the world.

SEASON-ENDING QUALIFIERS

The world’s top doubles team, Cara Black and Liezel Huber, are the first to qualify for the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships, which will be held October 27-November 1 in Doha, Qatar. It will be the third trip the final Championships for Black and Huber, having clinched the title in the last two years. The top four doubles teams will compete for the title. Two players have already qualified for the eight-player singles competition, Dinara Safina and Serena Williams.

STANDING FOR ELECTION

Doubles players will get a chance to shine in the 2010 International Tennis Hall of Fame ITHF) balloting. The ITHF announced the names of the 12 nominees for possible induction into the Newport, Rhode Island, shrine next year, including Beatrizs “Gigi” Fernandez, Natasha Zvereva, Todd Woodbridge, Mark Woodforde and Anders Jarryd. On the ballot in the Master Player category are Owen Davidson, Peter Fleming and Bob Lutz, while the Contributor category has four nominees: wheelchair tennis pioneer Brad Parks, coach Nick Bollettieri, Lawn Tennis Association chairman Derek Hardwick and Japan’s Eichi Kawatei. Voting for the 2010 ballot will take place over the next several months with an announcement of the induction class scheduled for January. The Class of 2010 induction ceremony will be held July 10 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport.

SUGIYAMA RETIRING

Ai Sugiyama is ready to say sayonara. The Japanese veteran says she will probably retire at the end of this year, concluding her 17-year career. She once was ranked as high as number eight in the world. “I am normally the type that can picture what the near future holds, but to be honest at this moment in time, I can’t see myself competing next season,” Sugiyama told Kyodo news. She won six WTA Tour singles titles and doubles championships at the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. She lost in the Australian Open final this year.

SPECIAL MOMS

When Kim Clijsters won the US Open, she became the first mother to win a Grand Slam tournament singles title since Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley captured Wimbledon in 1980. But Clijsters wasn’t the only mother competing at America’s premier tennis event. Sybille Bammer of Austria lost in the first round to Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, while Rossana de los Rios of Paraguay fell to 14th-seeded Marion Bartoli in her first-round match. After the birth of her baby, Bammer climbed as high as number 19 in the world and won at Prague, Czech Republic, earlier this year. De los Rios has won six ITF singles titles since giving birth to her daughter in 1997.

SAD WEEK

Sloane Stephens was looking forward to the US Open junior girls tournament, where she was seeded fourth. But just before junior play got underway, Stephens’ father, former NFL running back John Stephens, died in a car accident. The 16-year-old from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, took a day off to fly to her father’s funeral in Louisiana, then returned to win her second-round match. But she lost her next outing to Jana Cepelova of Slovakia 4-6 6-1 6-0. “I was trying to focus and do things I should have done, but mentally I wasn’t there,” she said. The youngster had reconnected with her father three years ago and she had met him only a handful of times, but the two had developed a relationship over the telephone.

SISTER ACT

Venus and Serena Williams won their 10th Grand Slam tournament women’s doubles title, beating the top-seeded team of Cara Black and Liezel Huber. The sisters have never lost in a Grand Slam tournament once they’ve reached the final. “Hopefully that’s a record that won’t end yet,” Serena said. It is their first US Open doubles crown since 1999, and the sisters are now halfway to the record set by Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver.

SUITE NEWS

As far as fans were concerned, Melanie Oudin didn’t outstay her welcome at the US Open. That’s not true about her New York City hotel room. The 17-year-old from Marietta, Georgia, was one of the biggest surprises of this year’s final Grand Slam event, reaching the quarterfinals before being eliminated. But she outstayed her hotel reservation at the Marriott in Manhattan, according to SportsBusiness Journal. Her management company quickly got her a room at the Intercontinental Hotel. Oudin, who was not seeded, was not expected to play in the second week of the US Open. So the room she shared with her mother was apparently reserved for someone else. “Obviously we will not be sending any of our players back to that hotel (the Marriott),” Oudin’s agent, BEST Tennis president John Tobias, told the Journal.

STILL RELEVANT

He won the first US Open in 1968 and the main stadium at America’s premier tennis tournament is named for him. But it wasn’t until this year that Arthur Ashe was inducted into the US Open Court of Champions, which honors the greatest singles champions in the history of the 128 years of the US Championships/US Open. Ashe joined prior inductees Don Budge, Maureen Connolly, Jimmy Connors, Margaret Court, Chris Evert, Althea Gibson, Steffi Graf, Billie Jean King, Jack Kramer, Rod Laver, Ivan Lendl, Molla Bjurstedt Mallory, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Pete Sampras, Bill Tilden and Helen Wills. An international panel of journalists selects the inductees annually. Former President Bill Clinton participated in Ashe’s induction ceremonies.

SET FOR DOHA

US Open runner-up Caroline Wozniacki and Elena Dementieva are the latest to qualify for the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships, which will be held October 27-November 1 in Doha, Qatar. The world’s top eight singles players and top four doubles teams will compete for the Sony Ericsson Championships title and a share of the record Championships prize money of USD $4.45 million.

STAYING IN TOUCH

Fans attending the US Open sent a record number of emails and text, picture and video messages from in and around Arthur Ashe Stadium the first week of the tournament. “US Open fans are letting their fingers do the talking this year as increasing numbers of Verizon Wireless customers use Smartphones and PDAs to stay in touch with their homes and offices,” said Michele White, executive director-network for company’s New York Metro Region. “The number of data connections established by Verizon Wireless customers in and around the tennis center during the busiest hours of the event last week was 80 percent higher than last year while voice traffic was down.”

STRONG SPORT

Despite the gloomy global economy, the women’s tennis circuit is doing just fine, thank you. Stacey Allaster, CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, said they have lost just one title sponsor in 2009 and have added two new tournaments in 2010. “The bottom line is we want to be a credible product, consistently delivering to fans and sponsors, and in 2009 our athletes have done that,” Allaster said. Of the tour’s 51 title sponsors, only one has dropped out, and that is “an incredible success story for women’s tennis,” she said. Tournaments have been added in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Kuala Lumpur, Indonesia, while the Los Angeles event has moved to San Diego.

SHAMEFUL ACTIONS

Three teenagers have been convicted in Malmo, Sweden, for rioting outside a Davis Cup tie between Israel and Sweden in March. The three Swedish males, aged 17 to 19, were sentenced to community service for juveniles. Two of them were also ordered to pay USD $19,020 for sabotaging a police vehicle. The three were among 10 people arrested after protesting Israel’s offensive in Gaza. The court had previously sentenced two others to 9 and 15 months in prison. No spectators were allowed to watch the matches after Malmo officials said they could not guarantee security. The International Tennis Association (ITF) fined the Swedish tennis federation USD $5,000 for that decision and banned Malmo from staging Davis Cup matches for five years.

SAY IT AIN’T SO

A media report that he and his wife are living in fear amid crime and poverty in the Bahamas has brought an angry response from Lleyton Hewitt. The 2001 US Open champion told a newspaper that the report in an Australian magazine was “absolute rubbish.” Hewitt said he and his family have had “fantastic experiences” in the nine months they have lived in a gated community on New Providence island. “For us it’s a fantastic place to raise a young family.”

SAYS YOU, SAYS ME

You knew it had to happen. Novak Djokovic and John McEnroe took turns imitating each other during an impromptu US Open moment. Following his victory over Radek Stepanek, Djokovic called McEnroe down from his television booth, then mimicked the mannerisms and serving style of the four-time US Open champion. He tossed his racquet onto the court and screamed at an imaginary umpire. Once McEnroe arrived on court, he unbuttoned his white shirt, rolled up his sleeves and, using a borrowed racquet, bounced the ball repeatedly, imitating Djokovic’s pre-serve habits. Two years ago, Djokovic delighted the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd by impersonating Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova, among others. “What I’ve done in 2007 with those impersonations and tonight playing with Johnny Mac, I think that’s what the crowd wants, especially in these hours,” Djokovic said. “I think these night matches are very special.”

SKIPPING SCHOOL

Her exciting run to US Open quarterfinals kept Melanie Oudin in New York City doing what she wants to do. She doesn’t do the ordinary high school things, like going to the junior prom or homecoming, or even hanging out with friends at the mall. “She doesn’t do any of that kind of stuff, and she’s OK with it,” said Katherine Oudin, Melanie’s mother. “I know she misses the normal life a little, but she does not regret it at all. Zero. She’s totally OK with it because she knows this is what she’s wanted her entire life.”

SOCKING IT AWAY

Each of the singles champions here at the US Open will take home USD $1.6 million, a nice tidy sum in any language. Going into the year’s final Grand Slam tournament, Roger Federer has earned USD $36 million over the past 12 months. His three Grand Slam wins – 2008 US Open, French Open and Wimbledon – and other tournament play netted him USD $8 million. And when he won his first-round match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center this year, he became the first player to surpass USD $50 million in career earnings on the court. The 28-year-old Federer has 10-year endorsement deals with Nike, Rolex, Wilson and Swiss coffee machine maker Jura. His Nike contract extension that he signed in 2008 is worth more than USD $10 million annually. Maria Sharapova is close to Federer in off-court earnings. The Russian earned USD $22.5 million over the past year despite missing most of the season with a shoulder injury.

SUED

The US Tennis Association (USTA) has been sued by a New York City documentary filmmaker who claims the ruling tennis body discriminates against wheelchair players by refusing to sell broadcast licensing rights to their matches. Brooklyn, New York, filmmaker Alan Rich is a lawyer who is representing himself and seven handicapped players. He has been filming a documentary about the players called “Fire in the Belly.” Rich contends that because the major networks covering the tournament – CBS, ESPN and Tennis Channel – do not cover wheelchair events, he should be given the rights. USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier said his organization limits filming of matches to the three television companies that have contracts with them. He said that two years ago, Tennis Channel aired the wheelchair finals competition live and produced a half-hour highlights show of the tournament.

SIMON REPLACED

Jeremy Chardy will play Davis Cup for France against the Netherlands. Chardy replaces Gilles Simon, who has a knee injury. France plays the Netherlands for a spot in next year’s World Group. The French team also includes Gael Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and doubles specialist Michael Llordra. Chardy originally had been selected as an alternative. That role now goes to Julien Benneteau.

SCRIBE AWARDS

Sixteen writers were honored at the US Open by the US Tennis Writers Association in the 10th annual USTWA Writing Contest. William Weinbaum and John Barr of ESPN.com won first place in Hard News/Enterprise for their story about the controversial match between Nikolay Davydenko and Martin Vassallo Arguello. Other first-place winners were: Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, Column/Commentary; Cindy Shmerler, TENNIS Magazine, Feature Story (Pro); Stephen Tignor, TENNIS Magazine, Feature Story (Non-Pro); Filip Bondy, New York Daily News, Game Story (Pro); and Paul Fein, TennisOne.com, Service Story.

The USTWA announced the election of its board of directors at its annual meeting at the US Open: Cindy Cantrell, Tennis Life; Paul Fein, freelance writer; Ann LoPrinzi, The Times of Trenton (New Jersey); Richard Kent, freelance writer; Jim Martz, Florida Tennis; and Art Spander, The (San Francisco) Examiner. Fein, Kent and Spander are new to the board. The officers will be determined by the board.

SHARED PERFORMANCE

Genoa: Daniele Bracciali and Alessandro Motti beat Amir Hadad and Harel Levy 6-4 6-2

SITES TO SURF

Davis Cup: www.DavisCup.com

Quebec: www.challengebell.com

Guangzhou: http://sports.21cn.com

Bucharest: www.bcropenromania.ro/

Metz: www.openmoselle.com

Hansol: www.hansolopen.com

Tashkent: www.tashkentopen.uz

Saint Malo: www.opengdfsuez-bretagne.com

TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK

(All money in USD)

ATP

$150,000 Pekao Open, Szczecin, Poland, clay

WTA

$220,000 Bell Challenge, Quebec City, Canada, hard

$220,000 Guangzhou International Women’s Open, Guangzhou, China, hard

DAVIS CUP

World Group Semifinals

Croatia vs. Czech Republic at Porec, Croatia

Spain vs. Israel at Murcia, Spain

World Group Playoffs

Chile vs. Austria at Rancagua, Chile; Belgium vs. Ukraine at Charleroi, Belgium; Brazil vs. Ecuador at Porto Alegre, Brazil; Netherlands vs. France at Maastricht, Netherlands; South Africa vs. India at Johannesburg, South Africa; Serbia vs. Uzbekistan at Belgrade, Serbia; Sweden vs. Romania at Helsingborg, Sweden; Italy vs. Switzerland at Genova, Italy

Americas Zone

Group I Playoff: Peru vs. Uruguay at Lima, Peru

Group II Final: Dominican Republic vs. Venezuela at Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Asia-Oceania Zone

Group I Playoff: China vs. Thailand at Jiaxing, China

Group II 3rd Round: Philippines vs. New Zealand at Manila, Philippines

Europe/Africa Zone

Group I Playoffs: Slovak Republic vs. FYR Macedonia at Bratislava, Slovak Republic; Great Britain vs. Poland at Liverpool, Great Britain

Group II 3rd Round: Latvia vs. Slovenia at Jurmala, Latvia; Finland vs. Cyprus at Salo, Finland

TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK

ATP

$650,000 BCR Open Romania, Bucharest, Romana, clay

$650,000 Open de Moselle, Metz, France, hard

WTA

$220,000 Hansol Korea Open, Seoul, Korea, hard

$220,000 Tashkent Open, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, hard

$100,000 Open GDF Suez de Bretagne, Saint Malo, France, clay

SENIORS

Trophee Jean-Luc Lagardere, Paris, France, clay

ATP Champions Tour Barcelona – Mantilla Completes Emotional Comeback After Cancer Recovery

Felix Matilla

Felix Mantilla completed an emotional comeback just two years after recovering from skin cancer as he became the first player in history to win an ATP Champions Tour and an ATP World Tour title in Barcelona. In the final of the Champions Cup on Sunday, Mantilla beat Albert Costa 6-4, 6-1.

The Spaniard, who won the ATP title in 1999, was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2006 after undergoing tests on a mole on his back. The former top ten player made a brief comeback before retiring from the game, but went on to win his battle against the disease. Despite being given a clean bill of health, he did not expect to be back playing title-winning tennis in Barcelona.

“To be honest, I didn’t think I’d be playing tennis like this again,” said Mantilla, after completing victory at his maiden ATP Champions Tour event. “When I got my illness, I felt like I was retired and that it was finished. But then they gave me the possibility to come here and to play on the ATP Champions Tour and I thought ‘Why not?’ It’s always nice to play your sport whilst having fun.”

For Mantilla, today’s win was the perfect end to an enjoyable week spent in his home city.

“I have really good memories of this Centre Court here in Barcelona,” said Mantilla, who jumps to No.1 in the South African Airways Champions Tour Rankings. “Today it was a good match and both of us did our best. It’s always special to be here and hopefully I can come back next year to defend my title.”

Although his battle with cancer put a premature end to his career on the ATP Tour, since retiring Mantilla has remained involved in the tennis world. For the past year he has been working for Tennis Australia as a talent-spotter, and he now spends half of the year living Down Under working with young Australian Tennis players.

“I’m really happy that Tennis Australia gave me the opportunity to try and help them,” he said. “I’m working to try and develop clay court tennis in Australia. We’re hoping that the young kids can grow up playing on slower surfaces, because that will help their play on all surfaces.”

In the third/fourth place play-off, Magnus Gustafsson defeated fellow Swede Anders Jarryd 6-7(3), 6-2, 11-9 (Champions’ Tie Break) in a thrilling three-set encounter. Jarryd looked to be dominating his countryman early on, but Gustafsson pulled off a dramatic comeback, eventually saving two match points in the Champions’ Tie Break before clinching the match.

The ATP Champions Tour will now move on to Sao Paulo for the Nossa Caixa Grand Champions, May 21-24 - http://www.atpchampionstour.com/saopaulo.html

To view the week’s results in Barcelona, click here: http://www.atpchampionstour.com/results

For the latest gossip and chat from behind the scenes, click here: http://www.atpchampionstour.com/twitter

ATP Champions Tour Launches New Website

On the eve of the Barcelona tournament, the ATP Champions Tour launched its new, official website, http://www.atpchampionstour.com

The site features a fresh design, more player and tournament information than ever before, and a new interactive FanZone where fans can send questions to their favourite champions, access exclusive video and audio, and test their knowledge of the Champions in a special Quiz.

For the first time, you can also read exclusive Blogs and follow us on Twitter, with tweets from the players during tournaments as well as regular gossip, opinions and tennis chat throughout the year. Everything you could want to know about the Champions Cup ’09 in Barcelona (16-19 April) can be found in Events, such as player field (when available), the Roll of Honour and a guide to the city where the tournament is hosted.

About South African Airways

South Africa’s international flagship airline and the continent’s most awarded carrier, South African Airways is the official airline of the ATP Champions Tour and sponsor of the official rankings. Its modern fleet features a comfortable Economy Class cabin recently reconfigured for extra legroom and a Premium Business Class cabin featuring the airline’s award-winning, lie-flat seat. Complimentary South African wines, inspired cuisine and personal on-demand entertainment for all travellers make the trip to Africa fly by. Built on a venerable 75-year history of bringing the world to Africa and taking Africa to the world, the airline’s network is unsurpassed on the continent – connecting travellers to more than 20 destinations within South Africa and more than 20 cities across Africa. As a recent member to the worldwide Star Alliance, South African Airways is now able to offer its customers 852 destinations in 152 countries and more than 15,500 flights daily.

ATP Champions Tour Barcelona: Pioline Rolls On In The Rain

Cedric Pioline

Cedric Pioline continued where he left off at The Masters Tennis in London last December by ignoring the storm clouds to thrash Michael Stich 6-1, 6-2 at the first ATP Champions event of the year in Barcelona on Thursday.

The weather was the story of the first day’s play. Dark storm clouds hovered over the Real Club de Tenis throughout, causing the start of play to be delayed by nearly three hours. When the rain eventually relented enough for the players to take to the court, it was Pioline, the man who beat Pete Sampras to win the event at the Royal Albert Hall last year, who once again stole the show.

The Frenchman was in imperious form to defeat Stich for the loss of just three games.

“I surprised myself today,” he said. “I didn’t expect to play that good as it was my first match on clay this year. I think I served pretty good and I returned pretty good. I kept the ball in play and he couldn’t stay in the rallies. I didn’t miss too much today and everything worked well.”

Pioline is now unbeaten in five straight matches on the ATP Champions Tour, and the Frenchman admits that he is setting his sights high for the 2009 season.

“I have to finish Number One!” said Pioline, of his intention to top the South African Airways Champions Tour Rankings. “It’s so important for me, it’s my goal.”

Up first on the Centre Court, Albert Costa wasted no time in beating Pat Cash 6-4 6-4 in a match that was played to a soundtrack of rolling thunder and crackling lightening.

Clay court specialist Costa looked in fine form against Cash, striking the ball with the heavy topspin shots that helped win him the French Open title in 2002.

Costa, a native of Barcelona, explained after the match that he always feels at home playing at the beautiful Real Club de Tenis.

“For me this tournament is always very special,” he said “It means a lot so I am so happy to play here. Even though it was tough today with the rain I think it was a good match we had.”

In the two matches played on the Number One Court, Anders Jarryd defeated 1996 Wimbledon Champion Richard Krajicek 6-4, 6-1, and Felix Mantilla beat Sweden’s Magnus Gustafsson 6-1, 6-4.

Matches are played over the best of three sets, with a Champions’ Tie-break (first to 10 points with a clear advantage of two) to decide the winner. After all round-robin matches are complete, the top two players in each group will meet in Sunday’s final.

After Barcelona, the ATP Champions Tour will move on to Sao Paulo for the Nosas Caixa Grand Champions (May 21-24), and after that will arrive in Istanbul for the Legends Cup (June 17-21).

To view the order of play and the round-robin groups, click here.

ATP CHAMPIONS TOUR LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE

With the first event of the year set to start in Barcelona on Thursday, the ATP Champions Tour has launched its new, official website.

The site features a fresh design, more player and tournament information than ever before, and a new interactive FanZone where fans can send questions to their favourite champions, access exclusive video and audio, and test their knowledge of the Champions in a special Quiz.

For the first time, you can also read exclusive Blogs and follow us on Twitter, with tweets from the players during tournaments as well as regular gossip, opinions and tennis chat throughout the year. Everything you could want to know about the Champions Cup ’09 in Barcelona (16-19 April) can be found in Events

, such as player field (when available), the Roll of Honour and a guide to the city where the tournament is hosted.

OTHER INFO

About South African Airways

South Africa’s international flagship airline and the continent’s most awarded carrier, South African Airways is the official airline of the ATP Champions Tour and sponsor of the official rankings. Its modern fleet features a comfortable Economy Class cabin recently reconfigured for extra legroom and a Premium Business Class cabin featuring the airline’s award-winning, lie-flat seat. Complimentary South African wines, inspired cuisine and personal on-demand entertainment for all travellers make the trip to Africa fly by. Built on a venerable 72-year history of bringing the world to Africa and taking Africa to the world, the airline’s network is unsurpassed on the continent – connecting travellers to more than 20 destinations within South Africa and more than 20 cities across Africa. As a recent member to the worldwide Star Alliance, South African Airways is now able to offer its customers 852 destinations in 152 countries and more than 15,500 flights daily.

McEnroe’s St. Patty’s Day Happenings

Happy St. Patrick’s Day – a day where a salient moment happened to John McEnroe, whose grandparents on his father’s side were from Ireland. As excerpted from my book ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY ($19.95, New Chapter Press, www.tennishistorybook.com), McEnroe made his Davis Cup doubles debut and when he received no luck of the Irish in Key Biscayne in his swan song appearance in the modern day Sony Ericsson Open.

March 17

1927 – U.S. President Calvin Coolidge conducts the draw for the 1927 Davis Cup competition on the front lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C. Coolidge picks the card with Czechoslovakia on it, which is drawn against Greece in the first round of the European Zone. Writes the New York Times of the event, “Surrounded by diplomats from the twenty-five nations entered into the tournament, he drew the card bearing the name of Czechoslovakia from the bowl of the trophy. Joseph C. Grew, Under Secretary of State, then picked Greece, which was paired with the nation of the President’s choice. The various diplomats then formed in line and each withdrew the name of one nation from the cup.” An ironic event occurs when the representative from Belgium selects his own nation from the cup. Twenty one nations are placed in the European Zone and four in the American Zone. The winner of each zone would meet each other and the winner taking on the United States, the holder of the Davis Cup, in the Challenge Round.

1979 – John McEnroe and Peter Fleming make their Davis Cup debut as a doubles team, defeating Ivan Molina and Orlando Agudelo 6-4, 6-0, 6-4 giving the United States a match-clinching 3-0 lead over Colombia in the Davis Cup first round at the Cleveland Skating Club in Cleveland, Ohio. McEnroe and Fleming become arguably the greatest doubles combination the United States has ever fielded in Davis Cup play, ending their patriotic partnership in 1984 with a 14-1 record. They win 14 straight Davis Cup doubles matches – a record among U.S. Davis Cup doubles teams – and represent the U.S. on Davis Cup final-winning teams in 1981 and 1982. Their final Davis Cup doubles match is their only defeat – a 7-5, 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 loss to Stefan Edberg and Anders Jarryd in the title-clinching win for Sweden over the United States in the 1984 Davis Cup final in Goteborg, Sweden.

1992 – John McEnroe, whose grandparents on his father’s side were born in Ireland, receives no luck of the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day in what becomes his final match ever at the Lipton Championships in Key Biscayne, Fla., losing to Richard Krajicek 7-6 (3), 6-4 in the third round.

1996 – In a final played with on-court temperatures surpassing 110 degrees, Michael Chang defeats No. 68th-ranked Paul Haarhuis of the Netherlands 7-5, 6-1, 6-1 to win the Newsweek Champions Cup in Indian Wells, Calif. “Today I could actually feel the heat coming through the soles of my shoes,” says Chang following the match. “They announced 110 degrees, but I was told it was 130 degrees. They just didn’t want to scare anybody.”

2001- Booed as she enters the court for her final round match against Kim Clijsters at the Tennis Masters Series -Indian Wells, Serena Williams withstands the harsh fan and media allegations of match-fixing, by defeating Clijsters 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. Fans react severely to the Williams family after Venus Williams abruptly withdraws from her semifinal match with Serena Williams the day before. “In the beginning, I was a little shocked,” Serena says. “Then I was like, ‘Wow, this is getting old. Move on to something new…I prayed to God just to help me be strong, not even to win, but to be strong, not listen to the crowd.” The withdrawal and aftermath came on the heels of tabloid story in the National Enquirer stating that Williams father Richard fixed the 2000 Wimbledon semifinal between the two sisters.

2007 – Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia wins her second Pacific Life Open championship in Indian Wells, Calif. – and her second career title – defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 6-3, 6-4 in the women’s singles final. “I think all the best things in life are worth waiting for, moments like this,” says Hantuchova, who wins her first title in Indian Wells five years earlier. “I guess all the hard work and everything I had to go through makes the victory that much sweeter.”

Mondays With Bob Greene: I am like a machine, fit for every match

STARS

Ayumi Morita beat Ksenia Lykina 6-1 6-3 to win the 2008 Dunlop World Challenge women’s event in Toyota City, Japan

Martin Vassallo Arguello won the Lima Challenger 2008, beating Sergio Roitman 6-2 4-6 6-4 in Lima, Peru

Go Soeda beat Hyung-Taik Lee 6-2 7-6 (7) to win the Dunlop World Challenge men’s singles in Toyota City, Japan

Grega Zemlja beat Martin Alund 6-2 6-1 to win the Abierto Internacional Varonil Ciudad de Cancun in Cancun, Mexico

SAYING

“This was our worst defeat. We had a sinister weekend.” – David Nalbandian, who earned Argentina’s lone point in Spain’s 3-1 Davis Cup victory.

“I think he’s my natural successor. He’s very close to this group of players who are integrated into the nucleus of the team and he’s demonstrated his qualities as a coach by leading Feliciano (Lopez), who has shown notable progression in the last while.” – Emilio Sanchez, on Albert Costa’s prospects for becoming Spain’s Davis Cup captain.

“I am like a machine, fit for every match, and I give my best for all my matches. I have a consistent style of play, which is my major strength and keeps me going. I am fine with the current ATP schedule and love playing tennis, which keeps me going.” – Nikolay Davydenko.

“It goes back to what my dad said: I peaked at 12 years old.” – Jimmy Arias, who in 1980 at the age of 16 became the youngest player to make the main draw of the US Open.

“She will have an opportunity but she will have to earn it.” – Craig Tiley, Australian Open tournament director on Jelena Dokic playing in a wild card playoff for a direct entry into the first Grand Slam tournament of 2009.

SUFFERIN’ SUCCOTASH

His business manager says Jimmy Connors is “extremely disappointed and embarrassed” about an incident that led to the tennis legend being charged with a misdemeanor. Karen Scott says a man tried to pick a fight with Connors and his son before a basketball game between the University of California Santa Barbara and the University of North Carolina. Police asked Connors to leave, but the eight-time Grand Slam tournament champion was arrested after he said he wanted to wait for his son to finish watching the game. Connors was charged with disrupting campus activities and refusing to leave a university facility.

STEPS DOWN

The day after leading Spain to its third Davis Cup championship, Emilio Sanchez Vicario retired as captain of the victorious team. “I will not be there for the tie against Serbia,” said Sanchez, referring to Spain’s first-round tie in 2009. “I started something three years ago and the cycle is now complete with this reward for all the players, and I hope that whoever replaces me can share all the magical moments I have experienced.” The next Spanish captain is rumored to be Albert Costa, the 2002 Roland Garros champion.

SAME IN ARGENTINA

Alberto Mancini apparently is through as coach of Argentina’s Davis Cup squad. He announced his resignation just hours after Spain clinched its third Davis Cup title, defeating Argentina 3-1 in the best-of-five-matches tie. The fifth match was not played. According to reports, Mancini had planned to resign after the final regardless of the outcome.

SCORING MORE

As an incentive to play better, Chinese tennis players will be able to keep more of their winnings. China’s players will keep 70 percent of the money they win, twice the amount they have been able to put into the bank. But the country’s top players, including Li Na and Wimbledon semifinalist Zheng Jie, are eligible to keep even more if they do well at Grand Slams and other big tournaments. In China, the sports associations have paid for coaches, travel and other expenses for the players. In making the announcement, Sun Jinfang, head of the Chinese Tennis Association (CTA), didn’t say if the players would now have to pay for some of their own expenses.

SQUARING OFF

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer could resume their rivalry in their opening 2009 tournament. The world’s top two players are scheduled to play the Qatar Open in Doha, Qatar, which begins January 5. According to Nasser al-Kholiafi, Qatar tennis federation president, the star-filled field will also include Andy Murray and Andy Roddick. The Qatar Open is one of three tournaments that will begin the 2009 ATP season, the others being the Brisbane International in Australia and the Chennai Open in India.

STOPPED

Kimiko Date-Krumm’s latest tournament ended quickly in the singles. Once ranked number five in the world, Date-Krumm lost her second-round match in the 2008 Dunlop World Challenge Tennis Tournament in Toyota, Japan, to Russian wild-card Ksenia Lykina 5-7 7-5 6-3. She did much better in the doubles, teaming with China’s Han Xinyun to reach the final, where they lost to Finland’s Emma Laine and Britain’s Melanie South 6-1 7-5.

SLUITER RETURNS

Dutch tennis player Raemon Sluiter is returning to the ATP tour after a 10-month retirement. He reached his highest world ranking of number 46 in 2003. The right-hander from Rotterdam turned pro in 1996 and earned a little more than USD $1.6 million in his career. Sluiter began his Davis Cup career in 2001 by upsetting Juan Carlos Ferrero as the Netherlands beat Spain and Germany to reach the World Group semifinals before losing to France. He also has a Davis Cup victory over Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen.

SET TO EXPLODE

A live bomb from World War II was discovered when a court at a British tennis club underwent renovation. The bomb was thought to be a piece of old farm machinery and handed to Steve McLean, chairman of the Greenlaw Tennis Club in Berwickshire, who put it in a bin. Six weeks later, he realized it was a bomb and called police. Army bomb disposal experts took the bomb away so it could be detonated safely.

STUMBLE

The first event in a closed tour for Asian players was canceled because of the lack of top players. The Asian Tennis Federation said it was planning a closed Asian Tennis Tour to help Asian players make more money. The first two events were to be held in India in December, a men’s tournament in Pune, followed by a women’s event in Indore. But some of the eight countries who had pledged their participation in the tour ended up nominated their third- or fourth-string players for the tournaments.

SENDS WARNING

John McEnroe hasn’t been quiet about his chances at the BlackRock Masters Tennis championships at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The lefthander, who at the age of 49 is by far the oldest in the eight-man draw, sent a video message to his rivals warning them not to underestimate him. McEnroe’s recent victory in Luxembourg has convinced the American that he can still compete. McEnroe is in a group with American Pete Sampras, Frenchman Cedric Pioline and Britain’s Jeremy Bates. The other group consists of Sweden’s Stefan Edberg, Australian Pat Cash, Britain’s Greg Rusedski and France’s Guy Forget. Jamie Murray, Wimbledon mixed doubles champion in 2007 and the brother of Andy Murray, will play doubles, joining, among others, Peter Fleming, Henri Leconte, Mansour Bahrami, Mark Woodforde and Anders Jarryd. Goran Ivanisevic withdrew from the singles field because he will undergo knee surgery.

SITTING ON TOP

For the third consecutive year, France has more players in the year-ending ATP Top 100 than any other nation. This year, however, Spain has tied France with 14 players in the Top 100. With Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at number six and Gilles Simon at number seven, it is the first time since 1986 that two Frenchmen have been in the year-end Top Ten. Yannick Noah and Henri Leconte did it then. Twenty-nine countries are represented in the Top 100. After France and Spain, Argentina has nine players in the Top 100, followed by the United States with eight, Germany and Russia with seven each, Croatia with five, the Czech Republic and Italy with four each, and Serbia and Belgium with three apiece.

STARS FOR SALE

The Heineken Open has reportedly been forced to shell out record appearance fees in order to land a couple of top players for the tournament in Auckland, New Zealand, beginning January 12. The headliners will be world number eight Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina and former champion David Ferrer of Spain. Tournament director Richard Palmer would not reveal the exact amount of appearance fees he had to pay to get the two, but said it was considerably less than the sums some top 10 players were demanding.

SO HAPPY

Organizers of the US Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston, Texas, are smiling these days. Because of the changes in the ATP calendar for 2009, Lleyton Hewitt and the Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, have committed to the US Clay Court. The Houston event now doesn’t bump up against Davis Cup competition or a popular clay-court tournament in Europe. And it directly follows the Masters 100 tournament in Miami, Florida. “This is a perfect example of how we’ve improved our prospects of getting some players we probably wouldn’t have had a shot at before,” said Van Barry, tennis director of River Oaks Country Club, site of the tournament.

SERBIAN DREAMS

The decrepit courts of the Milan Gale Muskatirovic Sports Centre in Belgrade, Serbia, will be restored in time to hold an ATP tournament in May. Tennis Masters Cup champion Novak Djokovic and his family are behind the changes, having acquired the ATP event only a few weeks ago. The Serbian government, city of Belgrade and municipality of Stari Grad will jointly pay more than USD $1 million for the venture. The courts also will be used by the Serbian Tennis Federation for Fed Cup and Davis Cup practice as well as university competition. When completed, the complex will have seven courts with seating for 5,000 at the Central Court. The restoration is scheduled to be completed by mid-April, two weeks before the tournament will begin.

SYDNEY CALLING

The Medibank International Sydney 2009 tournament will feature a number of top players, including Serena Williams, Jelena Jankovic, David Nalbandian and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Officials say the competition will be Sydney’s international sporting event of the Australian summer. Also in the field will be Russian Elena Dementieva and Frenchman Richard Gasquet, while Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt will be gunning for his fifth title in the tournament.

STICKING WITH IT

Argentina’s David Nalbandian refuted rumors that he is considering quitting his country’s Davis Cup team because of its loss to Spain. “For me it’s really an honor to represent my country. I’m going to continue defending these colors in the best way possible. For me, playing Davis Cup is the best and I’m upset that people have doubted me.” Nalbandian won the opening singles in the three-day competition, beating David Ferrer. But he and Agustin Calleri lost their doubles match and his “reverse singles” match was never played because Spain had already wrapped up its victory. “We’ve played in two Davis Cup finals in the last three years and I still think we can win it,” Nalbandian said.

SET FOR CHENNAI

India’s two top-ranked singles players, Somdev Devvarman and Prakash Amritraj, have been given wild cards into the Chennai Open tournament scheduled to begin January 5. The third wild card into the main singles draw has been offered to Lukas Dlouhy of the Czech Republic, who will partner India’s Leander Paes in the doubles. India’s Mahesh Bhupathi and his partner, Mark Knowles of the Bahamas, have also entered the tournament. While Paes and Bhupathi are India’s best-known players, neither play singles that much any more.

SAD NEWS

Anne Pittman, who coached Arizona State’s women’s tennis program for 30 years, died in Tempe, Arizona, after suffering a stroke. She was 90 years old. Pittman guided ASU to a 338-71 record from 1954 through 1984 and led the Sun Devils to national championships in 1971, 1972 and 1974. In 1995, she was selected as one of the charter members and only coach into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Women’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame. During her tenure, the women’s tennis coach was considered a volunteer position. Pittman refused to retire until funding was approved during the 1983-84 season to make the coach a paid, full-time position.

SHARED PERFORMANCES

Toyota (women): Emma Laine and Melanie South beat Kimiko Date-Krumm and Han Xinyun 6-1 7-5

Lima: Luis Horna and Sebastian Prieto beat Ramon Delgado and Julio Silva 6-3 6-3

Toyota (men): Frederik Nielsen and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi beat Chen Ti and Gazegorz Panfil 7-5 6-3

Cancun: Lukasz Kubot and Oliver Marach beat Lee Hsin-Han and Yang Tsung-Hua 7-5 6-2

SITES TO SURF

London: www.theblackrockmasters.com/

Australian Open: www.australianopen.com/

ATP: www.atptennis.com

WTA Tour: www.sonyericssonwtatour.com

ITF: www.itftennis.com

TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK

SENIORS

BlackRock Masters Tennis, London, England, carpet

Courier Tops Edberg To Reign In Dubai

DUBAI, U.A.E., Nov. 22, 2008 – Jim Courier closed out the 2008 Outback Champions Series season in style Saturday, defeating Stefan Edberg 6-3, 6-4 in the final of the Emirates NBD The Legends “Rock” Dubai Championships. The win earned Courier a first-prize paycheck of $54,000 for his fourth tournament title of the year on the global tennis circuit for champion tennis players age 30 and over.

Courier, who also won titles this year in Grand Cayman, Charlotte and Dallas, was also presented with a $100,000 check from the Stanford Financial Group for finishing the 2008 Outback Champions Series as its No. 1 ranked player in the Stanford Champions Rankings. In all, Courier collected $404,000 in prize money in 2008, including his Stanford Financial Group bonus.

“This is a great finish to a great year,” said Courier after his win over Edberg. “Dubai is a fantastic place for me, and for all the players, to end up the season. It’s a pleasure playing in front of the great crowds in this great city.”

Courier broke Edberg in the eighth game of the first set, hitting a blistering forehand down-the-line passing shot on break point to take a 5-3 lead, before serving out the set the next game. Courier appeared to take complete control of the match by breaking Edberg in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead. Edberg, however, made a last stand by breaking Courier back to even the set at 4-4. The Swede, however, was unable to keep the momentum, losing serve the next game before Courier served out the match the following game.

“I played well today,” said the 42-year-old Edberg, playing in his first Outback Champions Series event. “I didn’t really have much of a chance toward the end of the match. He played his points too well. He really hit some great passing shots. I hope to have the opportunity to play him again very soon.”

“Stefan just keeps applying pressure,” said Courier, 38. “I had to serve well to keep him from coming into the net. And I did serve well today. His volleys are deadly – probably the best I have ever seen.”

The final marked the first meeting between Courier and Edberg since they last competed on the ATP tour in the semifinals of Scottsdale, Ariz., in 1995. During their ATP careers, Courier and Edberg had a spirited rivalry with Courier winning six of their 10 meetings, including the finals of the 1992 and 1993 Australian Opens. Edberg’s signature win over Courier came in a 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 victory in the final of the 1991 U.S. Open.

In the third-place match Saturday, Paul Haarhuis of the Netherlands, the 2007 champion in Dubai, defeated Anders Jarryd of Sweden in an abbreviated 8-5 pro set.

The Outback Champions Series features eight events on its 2008 schedule with each event featuring a round-robin match format. The winner of each division meets in the title match while second place finishers in each division play in the third-place match. Each event features $150,000 in prize money with an undefeated winner taking home $54,000 as well as Champions Series ranking points that will determine the year-end Stanford Champions Rankings No. 1. Beginning in 2008, the year-end champion will receive a $100,000 bonus courtesy of Stanford Financial Group, the official rankings sponsor of the Outback Champions Series.

The 2008 Outback Champions Series kicked off March 12-16 in Naples, Fla., at The Oliver Group Champions Cup where Todd Martin defeated John McEnroe in the final. Courier won the second event of the season at The Residences at The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman Legends Championships April 16-20, defeating Wayne Ferreira in the final, while McEnroe won his first career Outback Champions Series event in Boston April 30- May 4, defeating Aaron Krickstein in the final. Pat Cash won his first Outback Champions Series title in Newport, R.I., in August, defeating Courier in the final, while Courier won his second and third titles of the season in September in Charlotte and in October in Dallas, defeating Martin and Thomas Enqvist in the final, respectively. In November, McEnroe won his second title of the 2008 season in Surprise, Ariz., defeating Martin in the final.

Founded in 2005, the Outback Champions Series features some of the biggest names in tennis over the last 25 years, including Pete Sampras, McEnroe, Courier and many others. To be eligible to compete on the Outback Champions Series, players must have reached at least a major 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. More information on the Outback Champions Series can be obtained by visiting www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com.

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 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 From Wednesday, November 19
Anders Jarryd, Sweden, def. Wayne Ferreira, South Africa, 1-6, 6-1, 11-9 (Champions Tie-Breaker)
Paul Haarhuis, Netherlands, def. Sergi Bruguera, Spain, 7-5, 6-4

Results From Thursday, November 20
Stefan Edberg, Sweden, def. Wayne Ferreira, South Africa, 6-3, 6-2
Jim Courier, United States, def. Paul Haarhuis, Netherlands, 7-6 (7), 6-4

Results From Friday, November 21
Stefan Edberg, Sweden, def. Anders Jarryd, Sweden, 7-5, 7-5
Jim Courier, United States, def Sergi Bruguera, Spain, (walk-over, knee injury)

Results from Saturday, November 22
Championship Match
Jim Courier, United States, def. Stefan Edberg, Sweden, 6-3, 6-4
Third Place Match
Paul Haarhuis, Netherlands, def. Anders Jarryd, Sweden, 8-5 (Match shortened to eight-game pro-set)

ROUND ROBIN STANDINGS
Group A
Stefan Edberg 2-0
Anders Jarryd 1-1
Wayne Ferreira 0-2

Group B
Jim Courier 2-0
Paul Haarhuis 1-1
Sergi Bruguera 0-2

2008 FINAL STANFORD CHAMPIONS RANKINGS
1.  Jim Courier (USA) 4100 points
2.  John McEnroe (USA) 2500 points
3.  Todd Martin (USA) 2200 points
4.  Wayne Ferreira (RSA) 2100 points
5.  Aaron Krickstein (USA) 1650 points
6.  Magnus Larsson (SWE) 1000 points
Jimmy Arias (USA)
8.  Thomas Enqvist (SWE) 900 points
9.  Pat Cash (AUS) 800 points
10. Mikael Pernfors (SWE) 750 points
11. Anders Jarryd (SWE) 700 points
12. Paul Haarhuis (NED) 650 points
13. Karel Novacek (CZE) 500 points
Stefan Edberg (SWE)
15. MaliVai Washington (USA) 450 points
16. Pete Sampras (USA) 200 points
Goran Ivanisevic (CRO)
18. Mats Wilander (SWE) 100 points
Sergi Bruguera (ESP)
Justin Gimelstob (USA)

Edberg and Courier To Renew Rivalry In Dubai Final

DUBAI, U.A.E., Nov. 21, 2008 – Stefan Edberg will meet Jim Courier in Saturday’s final of the Emirates NBD The Legends “Rock” Dubai Championships after both players emerged from round-robin play with undefeated records. Edberg defeated former doubles partner and Swedish Davis Cup teammate Anders Jarryd 7-5, 7-5 Friday to reach the final, while Courier advanced courtesy of a walk-over victory when Sergi Bruguera was unable to play their round-robin match due to a knee injury. The Emirates NBD The Legends “Rock” Dubai is the eighth and final event on the 2008 Outback Champions Series, the global tennis circuit for champion tennis players age 30 and over.

The final will mark the first meeting between Edberg and Courier since they last competed on the ATP tour in the semifinals of Scottsdale, Ariz., in 1995. During their ATP careers, Courier and Edberg had a spirited rivalry with Courier winning six of their 10 meetings, including the finals of the 1992 and 1993 Australian Opens and in the final of the 1989 Swiss Indoors in Basel for his first ATP singles title. Edberg played near flawless tennis in defeating Courier 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 in the final of the 1991 U.S. Open. Saturday’s winner will earn a first-prize paycheck of $54,000.

“This is the first time I’ve played Stefan on the Outback Champion Series and I can’t wait to be back out there trying to hit passing shots by him,” said Courier of playing Edberg in the final. “He’s one of the last pure serve and volleyers and we’ve played in quite a few finals including my first in Basel and in three Grand Slam finals. He’s one of the game’s great champions and it will be a privilege to be back out there with him.”

Both Courier and Edberg have combined to win 10 major singles titles (two Wimbledon, U.S. and Australian Opens for Edberg; two French and Australian Opens for Courier) and have ranked No. 1 in the world for a combined 130 weeks (72 weeks for Edberg; 58 weeks for Courier.) Both Courier and Edberg are also two of only 15 men in the history of tennis to play in all four major singles finals in a career. (Edberg also lost the 1989 French Open final while Courier lost the 1993 Wimbledon final (after defeating Edberg in the semifinals) and the 1991 U.S. Open final (losing to Edberg).

Against Jarryd, the 42-year-old Edberg struggled with his serve-and-volley game – sometimes abandoning it – as Jarryd was able to break his serve three times in the match. Jarryd broke Edberg in the seventh game of the first set to lead 4-3, but was unable to consolidate the break by losing his serve the very next game. Edberg was able to break Jarryd at 6-5 to close out the first set. In the second set, Jarryd fought off a 0-40 deficit on his serve in the second game to hold for 1-1. The two exchanged two breaks over the next four games – Jarryd not able to consolidate his break on both occasions – before Edberg closed out the match in the 12th game of the second set by breaking Jarryd for a fifth and final time.

“Anders and I played so many times, we know each other’s games so well,” said Edberg. “He made me work very hard today. He returns so well. I had to stay back more than I normally do. This was a great match to play going into the final – where you have to fight and work hard the whole way.”

Said Jarryd, “I had so much fun out there, everything worked for me. It’s been so long since we played. I thought for a while there maybe I could do it. I was up a break twice in the second set, but Stefan is a champion and I take my hat off to him.”

The Edberg-Courier final Saturday will be played following the third-place match between Jarryd and Paul Haarhuis.

The Outback Champions Series features eight events on its 2008 schedule with each event featuring a round-robin match format. The winner of each division meets in the title match while second place finishers in each division play in the third-place match. Each event features $150,000 in prize money with an undefeated winner taking home $54,000 as well as Champions Series ranking points that will determine the year-end Stanford Champions Rankings No. 1. Beginning in 2008, the year-end champion will receive a $100,000 bonus courtesy of Stanford Financial Group, the official rankings sponsor of the Outback Champions Series.

The 2008 Outback Champions Series kicked off March 12-16 in Naples, Fla., at The Oliver Group Champions Cup where Todd Martin defeated John McEnroe in the final. Courier won the second event of the season at The Residences at The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman Legends Championships April 16-20, defeating Wayne Ferreira in the final, while McEnroe won his first career Outback Champions Series event in Boston April 30- May 4, defeating Aaron Krickstein in the final. Pat Cash won his first Outback Champions Series title in Newport, R.I., in August, defeating Courier in the final, while Courier won his second and third titles of the season in September in Charlotte and in October in Dallas, defeating Martin and Thomas Enqvist in the final, respectively. In November, McEnroe won his second title of the 2008 season in Surprise, Ariz., defeating Martin in the final.

Founded in 2005, the Outback Champions Series features some of the biggest names in tennis over the last 25 years, including Pete Sampras, McEnroe, Courier and many others. To be eligible to compete on the Outback Champions Series, players must have reached at least a major 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. More information on the Outback Champions Series can be obtained by visiting www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com.

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 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 From Wednesday, November 19
Anders Jarryd, Sweden, def. Wayne Ferreira, South Africa, 1-6, 6-1, 11-9 (Champions Tie-Breaker)
Paul Haarhuis, Netherlands, def. Sergi Bruguera, Spain, 7-5, 6-4

Results From Thursday, November 20
Stefan Edberg, Sweden, def. Wayne Ferreira, South Africa, 6-3, 6-2
Jim Courier, United States, def. Paul Haarhuis, Netherlands, 7-6 (7), 6-4

Results From Friday, November 21
Stefan Edberg, Sweden, def. Anders Jarryd, Sweden, 7-5, 7-5
Jim Courier, United States, def Sergi Bruguera, Spain, (walk-over, knee injury)

Saturday
Starting at 3 pm
Anders Jarryd, Sweden, vs. Paul Haarhuis, Netherlands – Third-place match
Followed by
Stefan Edberg, Sweden, vs. Jim Courier, United States – Championship match

ROUND ROBIN STANDINGS
Group A
Stefan Edberg 2-0
Anders Jarryd 1-1
Wayne Ferreira 0-2

Group B
Jim Courier 2-0
Paul Haarhuis 1-1
Sergi Bruguera 0-2

Edberg Wins In Outback Champions Series Debut In Dubai

DUBAI, U.A.E., Nov. 20, 2008 – Stefan Edberg made a successful debut on the Outback Champions Series tennis circuit Thursday, defeating Wayne Ferreira of South Africa 6-3, 6-2 in his opening round-robin match at the Emirates NBD The Legends “Rock” Dubai. Jim Courier joined Edberg in the winner’s circle Thursday, defeating Paul Haarhuis of the Netherlands 7-6 (7), 6-4 in his opening round-robin match, avenging his loss to Haarhuis in the 2007 Dubai final. The Emirates NBD The Legends “Rock” Dubai is the eighth and final event on the 2008 Outback Champions Series, the global tennis circuit for champion tennis players age 30 and over.

The 42-year-old Edberg used the serve-and-volley game that led him to six major singles titles to dominate Ferreira on the hard courts of Dubai’s Aviation Club. Ferreira’s only opportunity in the match came when he held two break points on Edberg’s serve leading 1-0 in the first set. After Edberg held serve for 1-1, he broke Ferreira’s serve in the seventh game of the first set and closed out the set two games later. The Swede’s serve held strong in the second set and he broke Ferreira two more times to close out the match.

“I am very happy with the way I played,” said Edberg. “I had a rhythm going but I had to concentrate very hard and keep the pressure on Wayne all the time.”

Said Ferreira, “It was really great to play against Stefan Edberg today — whatever the outcome. I enjoyed the match. I just didn’t serve that well today.”

Courier entered his match with extra motivation to beat Haarhuis, who beat him 6-1, 6-4 in the 2007 final in Dubai. The players traded breaks early in the first set but stayed neck and neck until the tie-breaker. A missed overhead by Haarhuis at 7-7 in the tie-breaker was the difference for Courier, who won the first set on the next point. In the second set, Courier hit the shot of the match- a twisting backhand overhead winner – on break point to break Haarhuis’ serve in the seventh game. He held on to win the match three games later.

“I feel amazing right now,” said Courier after the match. “Playing Paul is like massaging your brain. He is so tricky how he sneaks in to net and moves really well.”

Said Haarhuis, “This is the first time I have faced disaster in Dubai. Until tonight I have never lost a match here. The better player won and tonight quite simply Jim was the better player.”

Courier is the No. 1 ranked player on the Stanford Champions Rankings, used to determine the top ranked player on the Outback Champions Series. Courier’s three tournament titles this year in Grand Cayman, Charlotte and Dallas, as well as his final-round showing in Newport, R.I., have helped him earn 3,800 Stanford Champions Ranking points entering Dubai. That point total is good enough for him to clinch the top-ranking for the year and earn a $100,000 bonus from the Stanford Financial Group, the official rankings sponsor of the Outback Champions Series. Courier will be presented with his check and his year-end No. 1 trophy by Stanford Financial after his match Friday with Sergi Bruguera of Spain.

Also on Friday’s schedule will be Edberg taking on his former doubles partner and Davis Cup teammate Anders Jarryd. If both Edberg and Courier win their matches Friday, they will qualify for Saturday’s championship match that will be a rematch of the 1991 U.S. Open final (won by Edberg) and the 1992 and 1993 Australian Open finals (both won by Courier.)

The Outback Champions Series features eight events on its 2008 schedule with each event featuring a round-robin match format. The winner of each division meets in the title match while second place finishers in each division play in the third-place match. Each event features $150,000 in prize money with an undefeated winner taking home $54,000 as well as Champions Series ranking points that will determine the year-end Stanford Champions Rankings No. 1. Beginning in 2008, the year-end champion will receive a $100,000 bonus courtesy of Stanford Financial Group, the official rankings sponsor of the Outback Champions Series.

The 2008 Outback Champions Series kicked off March 12-16 in Naples, Fla., at The Oliver Group Champions Cup where Todd Martin defeated John McEnroe in the final. Courier won the second event of the season at The Residences at The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman Legends Championships April 16-20, defeating Ferreira in the final, while McEnroe won his first career Outback Champions Series event in Boston April 30- May 4, defeating Aaron Krickstein in the final. Pat Cash won his first Outback Champions Series title in Newport, R.I., in August, defeating Courier in the final, while Courier won his second and third titles of the season in September in Charlotte and in October in Dallas, defeating Martin and Thomas Enqvist in the final, respectively. In November, McEnroe won his second title of the 2008 season in Surprise, Ariz., defeating Martin in the final.

Founded in 2005, the Outback Champions Series features some of the biggest names in tennis over the last 25 years, including Pete Sampras, McEnroe, Courier and many others. To be eligible to compete on the Outback Champions Series, players must have reached at least a major 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. More information on the Outback Champions Series can be obtained by visiting www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com.

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 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 From Wednesday, November 19
Anders Jarryd, Sweden, def. Wayne Ferreira, South Africa, 1-6, 6-1, 11-9 (Champions Tie-Breaker)
Paul Haarhuis, Netherlands, def. Sergi Bruguera, Spain, 7-5, 6-4

Results From Thursday, November 20
Stefan Edberg, Sweden, def. Wayne Ferreira, South Africa, 6-3, 6-2
Jim Courier, United States, def. Paul Haarhuis, Netherlands, 7-6 (7), 6-4

Schedule of Play
Friday, November 21
Starting at 3 pm
Stefan Edberg, Sweden, vs. Anders Jarryd, Sweden
Jim Courier, United States, vs. Sergi Bruguera, Spain

Saturday
Starting at 3 pm
Third-place match
Followed by
Championship match

ROUND ROBIN STANDINGS
Group A
Anders Jarryd    1-0
Stefan Edberg    1-0
Wayne Ferreira    0-2

Group B
Jim Courier    1-0
Paul Haarhuis    1-1
Sergi Bruguera    0-1

Jarryd and Haarhuis Post Opening Wins In Dubai

DUBAI, U.A.E., Nov. 19, 2008 – Anders Jarryd of Sweden and defending champion Paul Haarhuis of the Netherlands each registered opening-day victories Wednesday at the Emirates NBD The Legends “Rock” Dubai, the eighth and final event on the 2008 Outback Champions Series, the global tennis circuit for champion tennis players age 30 and over. Jarryd continued his run of recent strong play by beating Wayne Ferreira of South Africa 1-6, 6-1, 11-9 (Champions Tie-breaker), while Haarhuis edged two-time French Open champion Sergi Bruguera of Spain 7-5, 6-4.

Jarryd is fresh off his best career Outback Champions Series showing two weeks ago in Surprise, Ariz., where he defeated Jim Courier en route to a fourth-place finish. The 47-year-old Jarryd, a former world No. 5 and a Wimbledon semifinalist in 1985, suffered through a barrage of Ferreira forehands to lose the opening set 6-1. The Swede, however, changed the pace of the match by taking his South African opponent out of his rhythm with drop shots and slice backhands to even the match by winning the second set as easily as he lost the first. In the Champions Tie-Breaker, a 10-point tie-breaker played in lieu of a third set, Jarryd implemented an attacking style of play to jump out to a 9-6 lead. However, Ferreira charged back to save three consecutive match points, before Jarryd was able to hold on and win the next two points to close out the Champions Tie-breaker by an 11-9 margin.

Haarhuis, who beat Jim Courier to win his first Outback Champions Series event last year in Dubai, used his penetrating ground strokes and strong fitness to edge Bruguera. Haarhuis broke Bruguera at 5-5 before serving out the first set 7-5 and broke again in the sixth game of the second set before closing out the match four games later.

Thursday’s play will be highlighted by the Outback Champions Series debut of Stefan Edberg, who takes on Wayne Ferreira at 5 pm local time in Dubai. Edberg, 42, is one of 15 men in the history of tennis to play in all four major singles finals during his career. He won singles titles at Wimbledon in 1988 and 1990, at the U.S. Open in 1991 and 1992 and at the Australian Open in 1985 and 1987. At the French Open in 1989, Edberg fell one set shy of capturing the singles title, losing to Michael Chang in a five-set final. Edberg won 42 singles titles and 18 doubles titles in his career and held the No. 1 singles ranking for 72 weeks. He guided Sweden to victories in the Davis Cup in 1984, 1985, 1987 and 1994 and won the bronze medal in singles and doubles at the 1988 Olympic Games.

Also on Thursday’s schedule will be Haarhuis taking on Courier in a re-match of the 2007 Dubai final.

The Outback Champions Series features eight events on its 2008 schedule with each event featuring a round-robin match format. The winner of each division meets in the title match while second place finishers in each division play in the third-place match. Each event features $150,000 in prize money with an undefeated winner taking home $54,000 as well as Champions Series ranking points that will determine the year-end Stanford Champions Rankings No. 1. Beginning in 2008, the year-end champion will receive a $100,000 bonus courtesy of Stanford Financial Group, the official rankings sponsor of the Outback Champions Series.

The 2008 Outback Champions Series kicked off March 12-16 in Naples, Fla., at The Oliver Group Champions Cup where Todd Martin defeated John McEnroe in the final. Courier won the second event of the season at The Residences at The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman Legends Championships April 16-20, defeating Ferreira in the final, while McEnroe won his first career Outback Champions Series event in Boston April 30- May 4, defeating Aaron Krickstein in the final. Pat Cash won his first Outback Champions Series title in Newport, R.I., in August, defeating Courier in the final, while Courier won his second and third titles of the season in September in Charlotte and in October in Dallas, defeating Martin and Thomas Enqvist in the final, respectively. In November, McEnroe won his second title of the 2008 season in Surprise, Ariz., defeating Martin in the final.

Founded in 2005, the Outback Champions Series features some of the biggest names in tennis over the last 25 years, including Pete Sampras, McEnroe, Courier and many others. To be eligible to compete on the Outback Champions Series, players must have reached at least a major 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. More information on the Outback Champions Series can be obtained by visiting www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com.

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 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
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Anders Jarryd, Sweden, def. Wayne Ferreira, South Africa, 1-6, 6-1, 11-9 (Champions Tie-Breaker)
Paul Haarhuis, Netherlands, def. Sergi Bruguera, Spain, 7-5, 6-4

Schedule of Play
Thursday, November 20
Starting at 5 pm
Stefan Edberg, Sweden, vs. Wayne Ferreira, South Africa
Paul Haarhuis, Netherlands, vs. Jim Courier, United States

Friday, November 21
Starting at 3 pm
Stefan Edberg, Sweden, vs. Anders Jarryd, Sweden
Jim Courier, United States, vs. Sergi Bruguera, Spain

Saturday
Starting at 3 pm
Third-place match
Followed by
Championship match

ROUND ROBIN STANDINGS
Group A
Anders Jarryd    1-0
Stefan Edberg    0-0
Wayne Ferreira    0-1

Group B
Paul Haarhuis    0-1
Jim Courier    0-0
Sergi Bruguera    0-1

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