double fault

Victoria Azarenka Overcomes Hype and Reaches the Australian Open Women’s Finals

It’s all in the racquet.

And for Victoria Azarenka, it may very well be the case. The young Belarussian knocked off defending champion Kim Clijsters in the semifinals of the Australian Open in three highly-contested sets that witnessed several momentum changes. And Azarenka did it all under her new sponsor Wilson using the Juice tennis racquet — a switch she made earlier this month after dropping Head as a sponsor.

Azarenka has long been considered the sole top player consistently inconsistent in her inability to reach a grand slam final. As one of the greatest young hopes, progressing quickly through the ranking, many pegged her as an upcoming champ within “Generation Next”. However, under Head for years, her biggest gain was only reaching the semifinals in Wimbledon in 2011. But only days after switching to Wilson, Azarenka checks her nerves and closes out the sport’s best hard-court player, to reach her first grand slam final at the Australian Open.

Azarenka’s win wasn’t certain, however, as she quickly went down 6-1 in the second set after winning the first. The decisive third set saw it all: double faults, breaks of serve and, of course, plenty of grunting from Azarenka. Even while winning one less point than Clijsters, Azarenka was the better player for much of the match. Both women went for their shots as is evident by the sheer number of unforced errors (40 for Azarenka and 44 for Clijsters) and winners (20 for Azarenka and 26 for Clijsters) for both. In the end for Azarenka though, it all came down to overcoming her nerves, forcing Clijsters into mistakes and closing it out.

Today, we witnessed first-hand another new player blossom on-court. One with the ability to overcome the hype that centered around her for years, and actually play to her abilities. Azarenka matured into an adult over the course of this 2 hour and 12 minute battle and her time in the Australian sun won’t soon come to a close as she is set to take on either Maria Sharapova or Petra Kvitova in the finals on Saturday.

Additionally, whichever player wins the Australian Open becomes the new world #1. For a woman that can do anything now, this is simply no big deal.

 

Clijsters and Venus Serve up Spectacular

Well, given Venus’ penchant for a double fault last night I’m not too sure if that is the correct title.

Fans of beautiful tennis may not have been heavily impressed by the first two and a half sets but those who appreciate sheer guts and determination would have been gripped to their TV sets like never before.

The sporting cliché “refuses to lay down and die” was whipped out by both players who looked like two ageing stars playing their last Slam in terms of grit and determination to stay in the competition.

Then, with Clijsters 4-3 and 30-0 up in the third set the match exploded in to one of the most breathtaking and clinical displays of tennis seen this fortnight.

Venus showed some trademark Williams grit and clawed her way back to 4-4, courtesy of a horrifying Clijsters miss with an over-hit volley.

At this point it looked curtains for Belgian Kim. Surely her wits were abandoning her and it was time to return to baby Jada while Williams slugged it out with Vera Zvonereva for the title? Not a chance!

Putting pressure on Venus’ serve Kim began finding some impossible angles with that backhand and then produced one of the most sumptuous lobs I have ever witnessed to fight back and put Venus to the sword.

At 5-4 and Clijsters serving for the set Venus looked perilously close to tears. She, more than anyone else, was wondering how this had happened.

Venus had looked dominant taking the first set off the two-time defending Champion and when Clijsters threw away a 2-0 lead in the second it looked like Venus was to stride home in straight sets.

But Kim showed the fighting spirit which has epitomised her comeback from becoming a mother and those who claim that tennis now plays second fiddle to her family probably haven’t watched her play too often. This was definitely pride in tennis. A pride in her career and a will to give Jada something to be immensely proud of as she grows older.

The records are waiting for her. She is now unbeaten in 20 consecutive US Open matches which equals Venus’ best effort as well as Monica Seles, Margaret Osborne du Pont and Martina Navratilova. Only Chris Evert stands ahead of her on 31. Three more titles Kim and then you can stop.

Awaiting her is Wimbledon finalist Zvonereva who is gunning for her first Slam. Kim has a 5-2 record over the No. 7 seed but Vera has won both matches since Kim’s return to the tour.

A few people are backing Vera after she toppled the No. 1 seed Caroline Wozniacki but for me it is written for Kim to lift this. I have been wrong (many times) before but I will be gunning for Kim to keep the flag flying for working mothers above Flushing Meadows.

“I just tried to make the points and when I felt I had an opportunity to step up and accelerate I tried to take advantage,” Clijsters said in typical modest fashion.

But play it down all she likes this girl is dynamite. And come 3am tomorrow morning (British time) Kim will be lifting her third consecutive crown and taking all the plaudits once more.

Zvonereva is a quiet player with efficient and effective shot selections. She has snuck in to this final through the back door as all the talk has been of other stars. This makes her extremely dangerous. But Kim knows all about doing that from last year’s Championship. This will give her the upper hand and she’ll be too much for young Vera.

Kim to take it in three.

Murray Applies the Heat in Flushing Meadows…

Despite looking suspiciously like Jasper, the dashing vampire from the Twilight films, Slovakian, Lukas Lacko failed to draw blood against an impressive Andy Murray amidst the blistering heat of a New York afternoon, losing 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in just under two hours.

Murray used his typical variety of shot to gain two break points with a drop shot at 2-1 in the first set; a fabulous topspin lob awarded him his first break of serve. A muscular looking Murray continued his aggressive style of late, in the following games, stepping well inside the baseline to attack Lacko’s second serve and approach the net; a tactic that served him well throughout the course of the match. After a closely fought game at 5-3 and a couple of erratic shots from Murray, the Scot took the first set in 38 minutes.

Murray applied the pressure early on in the second set, breaking Lacko immediately, however buoyed by an audacious defensive shot in the second game, Lacko broke back straight away to level the set at one game a-piece. After taking out his frustration on his racket, Murray decided it was time for a new one and broke back once again in the following game.

A couple of service holds later and Murray went up a gear once again to set up three break points; a double fault by Lacko handed him the game and a definite psychological advantage. There really was no return for the Slovakian as Murray served out the second set with a penetrating forehand winner.

Murray’s impressive serving and aggressive returning made it hard work for Lacko who still didn’t have the answers in the final set, going down 6-2 once again.

The signs look bright for the Briton, who looks set to progress well into the tournament and possibly go all the way. Memories of a once physically weak Murray, cramping through lack of conditioning, have well and truly faded into insignificance; he could almost give the werewolves in Twilight a run for their money; well maybe not, but a transformation has certainly occurred.

Melina Harris is a freelance sports writer, book editor, English tutor and PTR qualified tennis coach. For more information and contact details please visit and subscribe to her website and blog at http://www.thetenniswriter.wordpress.com and follow her twitter updates via http://www.twitter.com/thetenniswriter. She is available for freelance writing, editing and one to one private teaching and coaching.

STOSUR SURGES AT ROLAND GARROS

By Blair Henley

A surging Sam Stosur took out four-time French Open champion and No. 22 seed Justine Henin 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 on Monday, snapping the Belgian’s streak of 24 straight matches won at Roland Garros.

“My nerves were simply not strong enough today,” Henin explained. “I felt very nervous, very upset, which is normally not the way I am. Maybe today I was feeling some nervous fatigue. Maybe that nervous fatigue prevented me from seeing things in a calmer way.”

After a slow start, 26-year-old Stosur used her heavy groundstrokes to keep her opponent stuck scrambling behind the baseline, and in the third set, Henin’s picturesque backhand was nowhere to be found. She dumped three into the net in the final game.

Stosur, seeded seventh, squandered her first match point with a nervous double fault, but took advantage of a short, bouncing overhead on her second try.

“I just tried to shake it off and tried to have a laugh at myself, not worry about it and get the next one in,” Stosur said of the double fault.

It was so gloomy at Roland Garros Monday that the 26-year-old Australian was forced to remove her signature sunglasses, allowing fans to see the emotion in her eyes as she sealed one of the biggest wins of her career.

“I knew what I had to do,” Stosur said. “I kept going for it and I believed in myself.”

Stosur had more clay court wins this season than anyone else on tour coming into the French Open and she made it to the semifinals here last year, but her win over Henin still was still unexpected. The Australian lost to her earlier this month in Stuttgart.

The Aussie was known primarily as a doubles specialist before she decided to focus on her singles a couple of years ago. She has previously held the No. 1 ranking in doubles, but she entered the singles Top 10 for the first time just months ago.

Serena Williams easily beat No. 18 seed Shahar Peer of Israel 6-2, 6-2 to become the last American standing in the singles draws. She will take on Stosur in the quarterfinals.

It’s safe to say Peer doesn’t like playing the Williams sisters. She has now lost 5 times each to both Serena and Venus.

Tuesday No. 3 seed Caroline Wozniacki will take on No. 17 Francesca Schiavone, No. 5 seed Elena Dementieva will play No. 19 Nadia Petrova.

Courier Tops Sampras To Win Breezeplay Title In Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C., September 27, 2009 – Jim Courier defeated Pete Sampras 2-6, 6-4, 10-8 (Champions Tie-breaker) Sunday to win the singles title at the $150,000 Breezeplay Championships at The Palisades at The Palisades Country Club in Charlotte, N.C. The victory was Courier’s first over Sampras since the first round of the 1997 Italian Open in Rome and his first on a hard court over the 14-time major singles champion since the quarterfinals of the 1991 US Open.

Courier earned $60,000 by winning the title in Charlotte, his ninth career title on the Outback Champions Series, the global tennis circuit for champion tennis players age 30 and over. Courier also earned 800 ranking points to extend his lead as the No. 1 player on the Outback Champions Series.

After splitting the first two sets, the two Hall of Famers played the customary first-to-10 point “Champions” tie-breaker, played in lieu of a third set. Courier clinched victory when Sampras double-faulted at 8-9 in the tie-breaker.

“That last double fault was hard on match point,” said Sampras. “I was serving right into the sun on that one and it hurt a little bit.”

Said Courier, “I wasn’t expecting that match point to end on a double fault. He was going for 110 mph second serves and sometimes he’s good enough to get away with that serve.”

During their ATP careers, Sampras and Courier played a total of 20 times, Sampras winning on 16 occasions, including the Wimbledon final in 1993. Sampras won their only previous meeting on the Outback Champions Series, a 6-2, 6-4 win in round-robin play during the 2007 event in Athens, Greece.

“I think he was having a hard time picking up my serve at the beginning,” said Sampras, who earned $30,000 for the runner-up showing. “Eventually he got there and started predicting it. Jim’s a guy who’s always going to compete and I knew that once we started the second set. I knew he was going to compete for that second set. I had a few chances in that tiebreaker and just couldn’t get it. It was disappointing.”

Due to weekend rains in Charlotte, Courier was forced to play his semifinal match against Todd Martin at 10 am on Sunday, postponed from Saturday evening. Following his 7-5, 6-2 semifinal win over Martin, Courier was able rest until the final with Sampras started at 4 pm, following Martin’s 7-5, 6-2 win over Pat Cash in the event’s third-place match.

“I was pretty relieved when his match point serve went out,” said Courier of the final point of the singles final. “I felt flat in the first set. I thought I’d be loose, but my legs felt tight and lethargic. I definitely got more boost in my legs and my serve really started to click. If my serve clicks I can hang in the match.”

The loss marked only the second time that Sampras has been defeated on the Outback Champions Series since joining the circuit in 2007. In 2008, he lost to John McEnroe 2-6, 7-5 10-4 (Champions Tie-breaker) in round-robin play in Boston.

Sampras won the opening event on the 2009 Outback Champions Series, defeating McEnroe in the final of the Champions Cup Boston in February.
McEnroe won the second event of the year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, defeating Courier in the final. Sampras won his second title of the year at the Del Mar Development Champions Cup in Los Cabos, Mexico, defeating Rafter in the final. Courier won his first title of the 2009 season in April at the Cayman Islands, defeating Arias in the final. Cash successfully defended his title on the grass courts at the Hall of Fame Champions Cup in Newport, R.I. in August, defeating Courier in the final. Following Charlotte, the next event on the Outback Champions Series will be held in Surprise, Ariz., where Andre Agassi will make his debut Oct. 8-11.

Founded in 2005, the Outback Champions Series features some of the biggest names in tennis over the last 25 years, including Andre Agassi, Sampras, McEnroe, Courier and 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. The Outback Champions Series features seven events on its 2009 schedule with each event featuring $150,000 in prize money as well as Champions Series points that will determine the year-end Champions Rankings No. 1.

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 “Legendary Night” exhibitions, charity events, corporate outings and tennis fantasy camps such as the annual “Ultimate Fantasy Camp”. Through 2008, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment events have raised over $4 million for charity. For more information, please log on to www.InsideOutSE.com or www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com.

Bizarre Ending To Serena Williams’ US Open Title Defense

NEW YORK — Serena Williams excited the US Open in unprecedented fashion Saturday night as she was issued a point penalty on match point for threatening a linesperson who had just called a foot-fault on her. Williams, the defending champion, lost to Kim Clijsters 6-4, 7-5 upset victory to unseeded, unranked mother Kim Clijsters of Belgium, who will face No. 9 seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in the final.

With Williams serving at 5-6, 15-30 in the second set, she faulted on her first serve. On the second serve, a line judge called a foot fault, making it a double-fault. That made the score 15-40, putting Clijsters one point from victory.

According to the Associated Press, Williams, in a fit of anger, screamed to the linesperson, “If I could, I would take this (expletive) ball and shove it down your (expletive) throat.”

She continued yelling at the line judge, and went back over, shaking her racket in the official’s direction.

Asked in her postmatch news conference what she said to the line judge, Williams wouldn’t say, replying, “What did I say? You didn’t hear?”

“I’ve never been in a fight in my whole life, so I don’t know why she would have felt threatened,” Williams said with a smile.

The line judge went over to the chair umpire, and tournament referee Brian Earley joined in the conversation. With the crowd booing — making part of the dialogue inaudible — Williams then went over and said to the line judge: “Sorry, but there are a lot of people who’ve said way worse.” Then the line judge said something to the chair umpire, and Williams responded, “I didn’t say I would kill you. Are you serious? I didn’t say that.” The line judge replied by shaking her head and saying, “Yes.”

Williams already had been given a code violation warning when she broke her racket after losing the first set. So the chair umpire now awarded a penalty point to Clijsters, ending the match.

“She was called for a foot fault, and a point later, she said something to a line umpire, and it was reported to the chair, and that resulted in a point penalty,” Earley explained. “And it just happened that point penalty was match point. It was a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct.”

When the ruling was announced, Williams walked around the net to the other end of the court to shake hands with a stunned Clijsters, who did not appear to understand what had happened.

“I used to have a real temper, and I’ve gotten a lot better,” Williams said later. “So I know you don’t believe me, but I used to be worse. Yes, yes, indeed.”

Lost in the theatrics was Clijsters’ significant accomplishment: In only her third tournament back after 2 1/2 years in retirement, the 26-year-old Belgian became the first mother to reach a Grand Slam final since Evonne Goolagong Cawley won Wimbledon 1980.

“The normal feelings of winning a match weren’t quite there,” Clijsters said. “But I think afterwards, when everything kind of sunk in a little bit and got explained to me about what happened, yeah, you kind of have to put it all in place, and then it becomes a little bit easier to understand and to kind of not celebrate, but at least have a little bit of joy after a match like that.”

Clijsters hadn’t competed at the U.S. Open since winning the 2005 championship. Now she will play for her second career major title Sunday against No. 9 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, who beat Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium 6-3, 6-3 in the other rain-delayed women’s semifinal.

Full coverage from social networks and other news organizations can be seen and linked below….

SERENA INCIDENT ON YOUTUBE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sm-Mj0vjJ_s

ESPN.COM COVERAGE – http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/usopen09/columns/story?columnist=garber_greg&id=4468470

SERENA’s POST MATCH PRESS CONFERENCE – http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/interviews/2009-09-12/200909121252748398140.html

RICHARD DEITSCH OF SPORTS ILLUSTRATED – http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/richard_deitsch/09/13/serena.meltdown/?eref=T1

SERENA’S “OTHER” FOOT FAULT – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jtLUtcL-D8&NR=1

FILIP BONDY OF THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS – http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more_sports/2009/09/13/2009-09-13_serena_williams_exit_from_us_open_semifinal_match_is_no_cause_to_cheer.html

BILL DWYRE OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMES – http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-dwyre-us-open13-2009sep13,0,5348697.column?page=1

MIKE LUPICA OF THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS – http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more_sports/2009/09/13/2009-09-13_unlike_derek_jeter_mariano_riveras_greatness_cant_be_tied_to_a_number.html

MARK BERMAN OF THE NEW YORK POST – http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/tennis/serena_bounced_after_court_tirade_ITh1PwYKOmkm1Mw90NqHHI

Safina Stumbles but Survives

NEW YORK – It was not a performance to cherish, but it was one to celebrate. After all, Dinara Safina survived –barely.

Just before becoming the first top-seeded woman to be ousted in the opening round of the US Open, Safina pulled her game together enough to escape a wild-card entry from Australia, Olivia Rogowska. And it wasn’t pretty.

Even Safina called Tuesday’s 6-7 (5) 6-2 6-4 win “ugly,” but added, “I pulled it out, and that’s what counts for me.”
Her “pull” was aided greatly by her opponent’s mistakes and miscues.

Safina is the world’s top-ranked player; Rogowska, who gained a wild card entry into the US Open through an agreement between the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and Tennis Australia, is 167th in the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour rankings. But they had one thing in common: both were seeking their first Grand Slam tournament title. Now only Safina still is in the running to do that this year.
The 18-year-old Rogowska matched Safina stroke for stroke, even, unfortunately, double fault for double fault in the sloppily played contest.

Never before has the women’s top seed fallen in the opening round at America’s premier tennis tournament. But it appeared as if Safina would do just that as Rogowska won the first three games to begin the third set. The two then took turns breaking each other’s serve before Safina held at love, the last point on her first ace of the day, to level the set at 4-4.

Rogowska fell behind 0-30 with two unforced errors – two of her 65 in the match – before winning the next three points. But her 12th double fault of the day took the game to deuce. Then came one of the most critical points of the day, one that was a glimpse at why Safina won and Rogowska lost the 2-hour, 35-minute battle.

The point began like most of the day’s battles were contested – long-range baseline rallies with both players using the entire court, keeping their opponent on the move while probing for an opening. It was Safina who blinked first, chipping a shot short, bringing Rogowska to the net.

The Australian replied by chipping a backhand down the line with plenty of spin. Safina caught up with the ball and returned a running forehand crosscourt. There was Rogowska, waiting at the net, but she failed to put away the volley and gave Safina another chance.
This time Safina threw up a short defensive lob. Rogowska again failed to hit a winning smash, and instead popped a weak overhead back across the net.

Safina needed no more chances. She rifled a backhand crosscourt pass that caught Rogowska making an off-balance stab at the net. The youngster sat down on the court and both watched the point while it was being replayed on the giant screens atop Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“When it comes like this tight, it’s not easy to swing,” Safina said. “I saw like her volley was not good. I was like, OK, so she’s not so comfortable. First of all, she had an easy smash and she didn’t went for it. Then when I made it, it was like, ‘OK, come one. Make this break now.’”

Yet another forehand error by Safina made the score deuce again, and again Rogowska followed with a double fault. There was one more deuce, earned with a sharply hit inside-out forehand, before Rogowska made her 34th and 35th forehand unforced errors of the match.

Four points later, Safina had a spot in the second round at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center where she will take on Germany’s Kristina Barrios, a 6-4 6-4 winner over Urzula Radwanska of Poland.

“It doesn’t matter how I’ll play, but I will run and I will stay there forever,” said Safina. “I will do everything to win the match.”
In the day matches, two seeded players failed to make it into the second round. Sixteenth-seeded Virginie Razzano of France was ousted by Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer 6-4 6-3, while 32nd-seeded Agnes Szavay of Hungary fell to Israel’s Shahar Peer 6-2 6-2.
Among the seeded players joining Safina in the winner’s circle Tuesday included Svetlana Kuznetsova, Maria Sharapova, Sorana Cirstea, Caroline Wozniacki, Nadia Petrova, Elena Dementieva, Jelena Jankovic, Alona Bondarenko, Sabine Lisicki, Patty Schnyder, Alisa Kleybanova and Zheng Jie.

In the men’s singles, American qualifier Jesse Witten upset 29th-seeded Igor Andreev of Russia 6-4 6-0 6-2.

“Last couple weeks I’ve been playing well and I’m not even sure why,” Witten said. “I’m just going to roll with it.”

Other early winners in the men’s singles included Novak Djokovic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Fernando Gonzalez, Marin Cilic, Tomas Berdych, Fernando Verdasco, Sam Querrey and Viktor Troicki.

Andy Roddick: A Sporting Gesture

Andy Roddick may have performed his best act when he married Sports Illustrated model Brooklyn Decker last month, but his act of sportsmanship at the 2005 Italian Open would rank high as well. The following excerpt from the May 5 chapter of the book ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY ($19.95, New Chapter Press, www.tennishistorybook.com) details what happened.

May 5

2005 – Andy Roddick performs one of the greatest gestures of sportsmanship on a tennis court when he overturns an apparent double-fault – that would have given him the match – and eventually loses to Spain’s Fernando Verdasco 6-7 (1), 7-6 (3), 6-4 in the round of 16 of the Italian Open in Rome.  Roddick is leading 5-3 in the second set and has triple match point with Verdasco serving. Verdasco’s serve appears to land just wide and is called out by the linesperson. Roddick, however, says the ball was in after checking the mark on the clay court and concedes the second serve ace to Verdasco. “I didn’t think it was anything extraordinary,” says Roddick. “The umpire would have done the same thing if he came down and looked. I just saved him the trip.”  Famed American sports journalist Frank Deford say on National Public Radio of the gesture, “In one moment with victory his for the taking – no, not for the taking – is given, is assumed, Andy Roddick went against the way of the world and simply instinctively did what he thought was right. Once upon time we called such foolish innocents sportsmen.”

1981 – New Yorkers John McEnroe and Vitas Gerulaitis are eliminated from the WCT Tournament of Champions at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, N.Y. McEnroe is defeated by Brazil’s Carlos Kirmayr 5-7, 7-6 (7), 6-2 in a second-round match, while Gerualitis is defeated by fellow American Fritz Buehning 7-5, 7-5. McEnroe holds a match point in the second-set tie-break but is unable to convert, while Gerulaitis loses the last six games of the match after taking a 5-1 lead in the second set. ”Inexcusable,” says McEnroe of the loss. ”He ran me around like a yo-yo and he deserved to win.”

Courier “Tweets”- And Beats McEnroe at Turning Stone Resort

VERONA, N.Y., May 2 – Jim Courier not only beat John McEnroe in a tennis match Saturday night, but “tweeted” about it as well.

Using the social network “Twitter” to update fans and followers via his blackberry on changeovers, Courier beat McEnroe 6-3, 4-6, (10-4 in Champions Tie-breaker) in a special “Legendary Night Exhibition” at the Turning Stone Resort in Central New York.

“Posting was a fun exercise,” said Courier, who can be found on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jimcourier. “It forced me to evaluate what was happening in real time although it also made me realize my thumbs are slow for typing. Hopefully it gives some insight into the mind of a tennis player in the heat of battle. I am looking forward to checking out the transcript and seeing if I actually made any sense or was just babbling.”

Courier is believed to be the first professional tennis player to use Twitter or any social networking device while competing in a professional match. The use of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) are forbidden in the rules of tennis as it opens up the possibility of illegal coaching. Courier’s match with McEnroe Saturday was not an officially sanctioned match or part of the Outback Champion Series global tennis circuit where Courier and McEnroe now compete. Courier frequently uses Twitter to connect with fans, comment on current issues in professional tennis and discuss behind-the-scenes details of the Outback Champions Series.

“Mac 2-1 on serve. Ball’s moving fast w/ppl in bldg. Feel good so far,” was Courier’s first in-match “tweet” during a changeover as McEnroe took a 2-1 lead.

Courier broke McEnroe’s serve in the fifth game of the match, tweeting of McEnroe double-fault on break point and of having to be aggressive on his forehand, “Got the break 3-2. Mac df on bp. I need to stay down and go after fh more. Covering it too much. Stay slow on 1st serve. Rushing a bit.”

Four games later, Courier broke McEnroe again to close out the first set 6-3, documenting McEnroe’s anger in breaking a racquet by tweeting, “6-3 JC. Mini McFreak. Broke a stick. Some shaky calls out here. I start serve 2nd set. Feeling better now. Got to keep driving the ball.”

Later in the second set, after taking a 2-1 lead, Courier, then tweeted, “2-1 JC on serve. Keep aggressive on his serve works well. Almost broke 2nd game. He’s edgy”

Two games later, taking a 3-2 lead, Courier wrote, “3-2. Tight service game. Was down bp. Served out of it. Rushed that game 2 dbl flts. Relax!!!”

McEnroe broke Courier in the seventh game of the second set, benefitting from Courier missing an easy forehand on break point. On the changeover, Courier wrote, “Gagged a fh sitter to lose serve 4-3 mac. Gotta refocus. Loose game there” Then two games later, Courier typed, “4-5. Gotta break. Stay down and rip returns. No cute shots.”

McEnroe served out the set the next game – forcing a first-to-ten points “Champions Tie-Breaker” played in lieu of a third set. Courier cruised to win the tie-breaker 10-4, winning eight of the last 10 points of the match.

Courier’s final tweets concluded, “10-4 in the breaker my way…served huge and ripped some passing shots. Felt good to finish big. I hit a rick-donk-u-lous slice angle pass to go up 2 minibreaks off of a sick mac approach. Yee haw.”

Following the singles match, Courier continued to document the evening of highly-entertaining tennis as he and Tracy Austin were defeated by McEnroe and Anna Kournikova 6-4, 2-6, (10-4 Champions Tie-Breaker) in mixed doubles.

The line of the evening may have come from McEnroe, who while serving at set point at 5-4 in the mixed doubles, yelled to Courier on the other side of the net, “Do you want to twitter before I serve?” Courier smiled and McEnroe then fired an ace up the middle by Courier to close out the first set.

The Legendary Night was run by the Turning Stone Resort in conjunction with InsideOut Sports & Entertainment, the New York-based sports marketing company co-founded by Courier that also runs the Outback Champions Series, the global tennis circuit for champion tennis players age 30 and over.

Courier is one of 15 men in the history of tennis to play in all four Grand Slam tournament finals. He won two French Open singles titles (1991 and 1992) and two Australian Open titles (1992 and 1993) and was a Wimbledon finalist in 1993 and a US Open finalist in 1991. Courier finished the 1992 season as the world No. 1 ranked player and won 29 career titles (23 singles titles, 6 doubles). He also helped the United States win the Davis Cup in 1992 and 1995. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005.

Home to the PGA TOUR’s Turning Stone Resort Championship, the Turning Stone Resort delivers AAA Four Diamond award-winning accommodations, world-class gaming and entertainment, five challenging golf courses, a private dance club and a world-class spa. The Turning Stone Resort is located 35 miles south of Syracuse and just a four hour drive from New York City. More information can be found at www.turningstone.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 “Legendary Night” exhibitions, charity events and tennis fantasy camps such as the annual “Ultimate Fantasy Camp”. Through 2008, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment events have raised over $4 million for charity. For more information, please log on to www.InsideOutSE.com or www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com.