Thomas Enqvist

Chang And Enqvist To Clash In Final

Michael Chang and Thomas Enqvist booked their places in the final of the Jean-Luc Lagardere Trophy in Paris on Saturday after both men won their final group matches to finish unbeaten at the top of their respective groups.

In the first match of the day, Enqvist had to come through a lengthy struggle against an in-form Thomas Muster 6-3, 3-6, 10-5 (Champions’ Tie Break). Elsewhere, Chang walked on court knowing he had already booked his place in Sunday’s final but he still completed a clean sweep of round robin victories with a 4-6, 6-2, 10-2 (Champions’ Tie Break) victory over Frenchman Arnaud Boetsch.

Chang is thrilled to have reached his first ever final on the ATP Champions Tour.

“It feels really good to be in my first ATP Champions Tour final,” he said. “Today was definitely a tough one against Arnaud so I’m pleased I was able to hang in there. I’m really enjoying being here in Paris this week with my wife Amber and it’s been great to play some good tennis as well.”

Enqvist is equally pleased to be playing in his second ATP Champions Tour final in two events.

“It’s great that I’m in the final,” he said. “I think today against Thomas it was a tough match and I was lucky to get through in the Champions’ Tie Break in the end. I’ve played well this week so hopefully I will go all the way tomorrow.”

Since making his debut in Sao Paulo earlier this year, Enqvist has remained unbeaten on the ATP Champions Tour, winning the title in Brazil and now reaching the final in Paris. Despite being on a seven-match winning streak, the Swede is modest about his achievements.

“It’s been pretty close this week. Yesterday against Cedric (Pioline) and today against Thomas were both tough matches that I could have lost. Hopefully the run will continue for another day because I’d like to win another title but I’m certainly not feeling invincible. I saw Michael play against Stefan (Edberg) and he looked really good. He still moves well and he still plays really good so it’s definitely going to be an interesting match.”

Chang starts  the match with a 1-5 win/loss record against Enqvist, having never beaten him on clay.

“Thomas has always been a difficult opponent for me over the years,” he said. “I’ve definitely lost more than I’ve won against him so tomorrow’s not going to be an easy match and I’ll have to play my best that’s for sure.”

The match to decide the third and fourth place positions will be contested by Cedric Pioline and Stefan Edberg after both men won their final round robin matches to finish second in their respective groups. Pioline sped through his match against a tired-looking Yevgeny Kafelnikov, winning 6-1, 6-2, while Edberg had a slightly sterner test against Guy Forget, coming through 6-3, 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 Paris, the ATP Champions Tour will move on to Chengdu for the inaugural Chengdu Open (November 5-9), and after that will arrive in Turin, Italy for the city’s first ever ATP Champions Tour event (November 11-14). The Tour culminates in London at the AEGON Masters Tennis event at the Royal Albert Hall, 1-6 December.

To view the order of play and the round-robin groups, click here: http://www.atpchampionstour.com/results.html

YEVGENY KAFELNIKOV BLOG – Part One

Yevgeny Kafelnikov is back in Paris, the scene of his Grand Slam breakthrough in 1996, and as well as playing in the Jean-Luc Lagardere Trophy this week, he is also writing an exclusive blog for ATPChampionsTour.com.

In part one, the Russian, who also won the Australian Open title in 1999, talks about how he has felt to be strolling the streets of Paris again, and the memories that the trip has brought back to him.

In part two, which will be published soon, Kafelnikov gives his reaction to Kim Clijsters’ recent US Open triumph, his thoughts on Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Juan Martin Del Potro, and how the current era compares to his own.

To read part one of Kafelnikov’s blog, click here: http://www.atpchampionstour.com/blog5.html

Mondays With Bob Greene: Federer has the potential to win at Paris and at any site in the world

STARS

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez beat Julien Benneteau 3-6 7-6 (1) 6-3 to win the Interwetten Austrian Open in Kitzbuhel, Austria

Aravane Rezai beat Lucie Hradecka 7-6 (2) 6-1 to win the Internationaux de Strasbourg in Strasbourg, France

Alexandra Dulgheru beat Alona Bondarenko 7-6 (3) 6-3 6-0 to win the Warsaw Open in Warsaw, Poland

Serbia won the ARAG ATP World Team Championship, defeating Germany in Dusseldorf, Germany

Thomas Enqvist beat Fernando Meligeni 7-6(3) 6-3 to win the AOC Grand Champions Brazil in Sao Paulo, Brazil

SAYING
“I know what I have to do, but that doesn’t make it easy.” – Roger Federer, when asked if he could win the French Open.

“Federer has the potential to win at Paris and at any site in the world. He’s showed that throughout his career. But Paris begins with the first round, not the final.” – Rafael Nadal.

“If I continue playing like I’ve been playing for the past three weeks, I have a very good chance (of winning the tournament). I’m really looking forward to it.” – Dinara Safina, on her chances at Roland Garros.

“Any win on the clay is a great win. I know the Americans don’t do well over here, so it’s good to get us on the board.” – Robert Kendrick, after his five-set, first-day win over Daniel Brands.

“To play him on any surface, he’s so dangerous. (He served) a lot of unreturnables.” – Lleyton Hewitt, after surviving a French Open -record 55 aces struck by Ivo Karlovic to win his first-round match.

“I think it is going to be huge and this is respect because Djokovic was not here. And I think we showed that we are a big tennis nation also if Novak is not here with us.” – Janko Tipsarevic, after he teamed with Viktor Troicki and doubles specialist Nenad Zimonjic to lead Serbia to the ARAG ATP World Team Championship title.

“A very, very poor match – probably my worst match in the last two years.” – Jelena Dokic, after losing to Romanian qualifier Ioana Raluca Olaru in the first round of the Warsaw Open.

“I have no expectations for the French Open. This is not a time in my career to have expectations.” – Maria Sharapova, after losing a quarterfinal match in her first singles tournament since undergoing shoulder surgery.

“It’s incredible. I’m so happy to win my first title in France.” – Aravane Rezai, the first Frenchwoman to win the Internationaux de Strasbourg in Strasbourg, France, in the tournament’s 23-year history.

“I didn’t expect to win. I don’t know what happened that I was playing so well. .. I had to use every drop of energy I had to win.” – Alexandra Dulgheru, after winning her first WTA Tour title, the Warsaw Open.

“I think it’s my best moment in my career. I played in my first ATP World Tour final and I won.” – Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, after winning the Austrian Open.

SETS RECORD FOR ACES

Ivo Karlovic slammed a record 55 aces yet still lost his first-round Roland Garros match to Lleyton Hewitt 6-7 (1) 6-7 (4) 7-6 (4) 6-4 6-3. The tallest man on the ATP Tour at 6-foot-10 (2.08m), Karlovic shared the previous record of 51 aces with Joachim Johansson. The ATP began keeping records on aces in1991. However, Bud Collins, the Hall of Fame tennis journalist and broadcaster, in his book The Bud Collins History of Tennis, lists American Ed Kauder as the holder of the most aces struck in a match. Kauder fired 59 aces in a 6-2 3-6 9-11 10-8 6-0 first-round loss to Ham Richardson at the US Championships (now US Open) in 1955. According to Collins, Karlovic’s 55 aces stands as the second-most all-time and the most aces in a match at Roland Garros.

SET FOR LONDON

Rafael Nadal is the first player to clinch a spot in the season-ending ATP World Tour finals to be held in London. Nadal is the reigning Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon champion. He will be joined by seven other player sin the November 22-29 event. Despite qualifying for the year-ending event in each of the past four years, Nadal has twice withdrawn from the competition because of injury and has never reached the final. Last year he missed the finale in Shanghai because of tendinitis in his knee. He lost to Roger Federer in the semifinals in 2006 and 2007.

SURPRISE

It shouldn’t have come as a surprise when Alexandra Dulgheru won the Warsaw Open. She rallied from 7-5 4-2 down to win her opening round in qualifying, then won two more matches just to get to the main draw. Ranked 201st in the world, Dulgheru included among her victims Daniela Hantuchova before she beat Alona Bondarenko in her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour final. Dulgheru won the title match in two hours, 52 minutes – exactly the same time it took her to beat Lenka Wienerova in the first round of qualifying.

STOPPED

John Isner’s French Open ended before it began. Isner won a wild card into Roland Garros by winning the USTA wild card tournament in Boca Raton, Florida. But he had to pull out of the French Open because of mononucleosis.

Russia’s Dimitry Tursunov and Croatia’s Mario Ancic are also missing this year’s clay court Grand Slam tournament. Tursunov withdrew because of a heel injury, while Ancic pulled out because of a lack of fitness.

SHARAPOVA BACK

Maria Sharapova played singles in a tournament for the first time in nearly 10 months, reaching the quarterfinals before being stopped by Alona Bondarenko. The three-time Grand Slam tournament winner needed nine match points in her opening match before finally downing Tathiana Garbin in three sets at the Warsaw Open. She beat Darya Kustova in the second round before falling to the eight-seeded Bondarenko. The Russian had surgery for a torn rotator cuff last year and missed the US and Australian Opens as well as the Beijing Olympics. She briefly returned to tournament tennis in March, playing and losing a doubles match in Indian Wells, California. “In these nine months the only thing I’ve accomplished is probably a good pasta carbonara,” she said. “At the end of the day, that’s not my specialty. My specialty is to go out and compete and win Grand Slams.” Sharapova has already next month’s Edgbaston Classic in Birmingham, England, a grass-court warm-up for Wimbledon.

STRICKEN

Japan’s Kei Nishikori has an injured right elbow, forcing him to pull out of the French Open. Nishikori has not played since losing in the opening round at Indian Wells, California, in March. Last year Nishikori became the first Japanese man since 1937 to reach the fourth round of the US Open, and he was later honored as the ATP’s newcomer of the year for 2008. He was ranked as high as number 56, but currently is ranked 117th in the world.

STEFFI AND ANDRE, AGAIN

Their act was so good at Wimbledon, Andre Agassi and his wife Steffi Graf will play another exhibition match – this time at Roland Garros on Saturday, June 6. Sponsored by Longines and in honor of the tenth anniversary of the couple’s 1999 singles championship victories, Agassi and Graf will play on Court 7 with ten young players from around the world.

STEAMED

Lleyton Hewitt is upset over the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) decision to fine Australia USD $10,000 because of the country’s refusal to play a Davis Cup zonal tie in India. Tennis Australia (TA) had asked the ITF to move the Asia/Oceania Zone tie out of Chennai, India, but when the request was denied, the Australians refused to play, forfeiting the round. “The way the ITF went about it was a disgrace in the first place,” said Hewitt. “Australia Davis Cup is pretty disappointed about the way they’ve gone about it.” Under ITF rules, Australia could have been suspended for a year. India feels the ITF has been too lenient with Australia and is seeking a review of the punishment.

STUPIDITY

Jelena Dokic’s father is facing up to eight years in prison after threatening the Australian ambassador in Belgrade, Serbia. Damir Dokic was charged with “endangering security” of the ambassador and unlawful possession of weapons. He was arrested after reportedly saying he would blow up Ambassador Clair Birgin’s car if she did not stop negative articles about him from being published in the Australian mea. Searching his house in northern Serbia, police found rifles and hand grenades.

SINGERS WANTED

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is seeking youngsters to perform at this year’s US Open. The children – 12 years of age and younger as of September 13, 2009 – will be singing “America the Beautiful” before the night sessions at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

STRAIGHT IN

Taylor Dent has been granted a wildcard for the Pilot Pen Tennis to be held August 21-29 at the Connecticut Tennis Center in New Haven, Connecticut. Dent will join fellow American Mardy Fish and Spaniard Tommy Robredo as players already committed to the US Open hard court warm-up event. Dent has reached a career-high ranking of 21st in the world before undergoing back surgery. When that surgery proved to be unsuccessful, he had spinal fusion surgery and has slowly worked his way back onto the ATP tour.

SUSPENSION SHORTENED

Poland’s Radwanska sisters -Agnieszka and Urzula – along with Daniela Hantuchova have lent their support to Habitat for Humanity and their latest building project in Warsaw, Poland. Due to be completed this September, the Warsaw project will provide new homes and a better future for six families. The three WTA Tour stars joined in with the construction on the latest installment of the “women-only” construction program which is designed to recruit, train and empower women. Besides their financial support, the Radwanska sister gave their match play racquets to Habitat for Humanity Poland for an auction.

STAGE FOR UPSETS

The infamous Court Two at Wimbledon, dubbed the graveyard of champions, will be replaced in time for the 2011 grass-court championships. “The new court (Three), containing enhanced spectator amenities, will be built on the site of old Court Two,” All England Club officials said. The work will start immediately after this year’s tournament and will be completed by May 2011. Several Wimbledon champions were upset on the old Court Two, including Pete Sampras in his last visit to Wimbledon in 2002. A new Court Two will be used for the first time when the Grand Slam tournament begins next month, while the retractable roof over Centre Court will also makes its debut.

SPONSORSHIP GONE

The Australian Open has lost nearly USD $10 million in sponsorship, thanks to the current world-wide financial crisis. Garnier, part of the L’Oreal Group, has become the second major backer to pull out of the year’s first Grand Slam tournament. GE Money recently decided against extending its three-year arrangement. Garnier said the beauty products company has recently advised Tennis Australia of its decision not to continue as a sponsor in 2010. A much smaller arrangement between the Australian Open and MasterCard is also over as the sponsorship market continues to tighten locally and internationally.

STANDING TALL

Vera Zvonareva has been named a “Promoter of Gender Equality” as part of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour’s partnership with UNESCO. Zvonareva joins fellow tennis stars Venus Williams, Tatiana Golovin and Zheng Jie as Promoters of General Equality for the program as well as WTA Tour founder Billie Jean King. Zvonareva had her best year in 2008. The 24-year-old enrolled in the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2007 where she is studying for a post-graduate degree in International Relations and Economics.

STRODE ARTHUR ASHE WINNER

The top men’s player on the University of Arkansas’ team, senior Blake Strode, has been named the national recipient of the ITA/Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership & Sportsmanship. Strode beat out nominees from Harvard, Georgia, Toledo, Rice, New Mexico and Pepperdine for the national honor.

SIGNS UP

Alex Bogomolov is the new Touring Professional in Residence for the Napeague Tennis Club in the Hamptons area of Long Island, New York. At one time ranked in the top 100 in the world, Bogomolov will serve as the club’s resident ATP Touring Pro and will be available to Napeague Tennis Club members for private lessons, clinics, and other club events throughout the summer.

SHARED PERFORMANCES

Warsaw: Raquel Kops-Jones and Bethanie Mattek-Sands beat Yan Zi and Zheng Jie 6-1 6-1

Strasbourg: Nathalie Dechy and Mara Santangelo beat Claire Feuerstein and Stephanie Foretz 6-0 6-1

Kitzbuhel: Marcelo Melo and Andre Sa beat Andrei Pavel and Horla Tecau 6-7 (9) 6-2 10-7 (match tiebreak)

SITES TO SURF

Paris: www.rolandgarros.com/index.html

Prostejov: www.czech-open.com/

TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK

(All money in USD)

ATP and WTA

Roland Garros, Paris, France, clay (first week)

TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK

ATP and WTA

Roland Garros, Paris, France, clay (second week)

ATP

$170,000 UniCredit Czech Open, Prostejov, Czech Republic, clay

Courier Clinches Year-End No. 1 Ranking In Stanford Champions Rankings

NEW YORK, November 18 – With three tournament victories in 2008, as well as a finalist appearance in Newport, R.I., Jim Courier will finish in first place in the 2008 Stanford Champions Rankings, making him the top-performing player for the year on the Outback Champions Series, the global tennis circuit for champion tennis players age 30 and over.

Stanford Financial Group, the official rankings sponsor of the Outback Champions Series, will present Courier with a $100,000 cash bonus and the year-end No. 1 trophy on Friday, November 21 after his match at the Emirates NBD Legends “Rock” Dubai Championships in Dubai, U.A.E., the eighth and final Outback Champions Series event of 2008.

Suzanne Hamm, Chief Marketing Office for North America for Stanford, said, “Stanford is proud to underwrite the Stanford Champions Rankings and we extend our heartfelt congratulations to Jim Courier for his first place finish this season. We applaud his success both on and off the court.”

Courier consistently has been the dominant player on the 2008 circuit, posting a 23-4 win-loss record over seven events with three titles, one runner-up finish and two third-place finishes. With the $100,000 year end bonus, Courier has earned $350,000 on the Outback Champions Series in 2008 entering this week’s event in Dubai. His first title of the 2008 season came in the Cayman Islands in April, where he defeated Wayne Ferreira in the final. After a runner-up showing to Pat Cash at the Hall of Fame Champions Cup in Newport, R.I., in August, Courier won back-to-back titles this fall in Charlotte and Dallas, defeating Todd Martin and Thomas Enqvist, respectively, in the finals.

“My goal each year is to win as many tournaments as possible, but my long-term goal for this season was to regain the year-end No. 1 on the Stanford Champions Rankings after losing it in 2007,” said Courier. “It is very gratifying to get back to the top of the mountain when your competition is as strong as it is out here. Stanford Financial is one of the original supporters of the Outback Champions Series and I take great pride in receiving this award from them.”

Outback Champions Series players earn ranking points based on each match victory in round-robin play and bonus points based on finishing in the top four at each event. Players earn 100 points for competing in each Outback Champions Series event and 100 points per round-robin match victory. The winner of each event receives 400 bonus points, while the runner-up earns 200 bonus points. Third-place finishers earn 100 bonus points while the fourth-place finisher receives 50 bonus points.

Entering this week’s event in Dubai, Courier has 3800 Stanford Champions Ranking points, followed by John McEnroe with 2500 points and Todd Martin with 2200 points. The current rankings list is as follows;

2008 STANFORD CHAMPIONS RANKINGS (as of November 19)
1. Jim Courier (USA) 3800 points
2. John McEnroe (USA) 2500 points
3. Todd Martin (USA) 2200 points
4. Wayne Ferreira (RSA) 2000 points
5. Aaron Krickstein (USA) 1650 points
6. Magnus Larsson (SWE) 1000 points
Jimmy Arias (USA) 1000 points
8. Thomas Enqvist (SWE) 900 points
9. Pat Cash (AUS) 800 points
10. Mikael Pernfors (SWE) 750 points
11. Karel Novacek (CZE) 500 points
12. Anders Jarryd (SWE) 450 points
MaliVai Washington (USA) 450 points
14. Paul Haarhuis (NED) 350 points
15. Goran Ivanisevic (CRO) 200 points
Pete Sampras (USA) 200 points
17. Mats Wilander (SWE) 100 points
Justin Gimelstob (USA) 100 points

Courier also finished the 2006 season as the Outback Champions Series year-end points champion with tournament victories in Naples, Fla., and Charlotte and third-place finishes in both Boston and Houston. Todd Martin concluded the 2007 year as the top-ranked player on the Series, paced by winning the Hall of Fame Champions Cup in Newport, R.I. and runner-up showings in Boston, Charlotte and Athens, Greece.

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 player.

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.

About Outback Champions Series
Founded in 2005, the Outback Champions Series features some of the biggest names in tennis from 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.

About InsideOut Sports & Entertainment
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

About Stanford Financial Group
Stanford Financial Group is a privately held global network of independent, affiliated financial services companies led by Chairman of the Board Sir Allen Stanford.  The first Stanford company was founded by his grandfather, Lodis B. Stanford in 1932. Stanford’s core businesses are private wealth management and investment banking for institutions and emerging growth companies.

The Stanford Financial Group of companies provides private and institutional investors with global expertise in asset allocation strategies, investment advisory services, award-winning policy and equity research, international private banking and trust administration, commercial banking, investment banking, merchant banking, institutional sales and trading, real estate investment and insurance. Stanford has more than $50 billion in assets under management or advisement.

Stanford Financial has made it a priority to invest in the communities in which it operates across the globe through signature corporate philanthropy initiatives with nonprofit organizations such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and countless local and national charities that strengthen communities.

Securities products and services are offered in the United States through Stanford Group Company, member FINRA/SIPC. Stanford Financial Group is not a legal entity, but a registered trademark that encompasses the global network of independent, but affiliated, privately held and wholly owned entities. More information can be found at www.stanfordfinancial.com.

Courier Wins Dramatic Stanford Championships Final In Dallas

DALLAS, October 26 – Jim Courier won his sixth career Outback Champions Series event – and his third title in 2008 – with a dramatic 3-6, 6-4, 10-8 (Champions Tie-Breaker) victory over Thomas Enqvist of Sweden Sunday in the final of the $150,000 Stanford Championships at the Turpin Tennis Center on the campus of Southern Methodist University. Courier won the last four points of the decisive Champions tie-breaker, played in lieu of a third set, and won the match when Enqvist missed a sitter overhead on match point. Courier called the missed overhead, “one of the nuttiest match points I’ve ever been a part of.”

With Courier holding match point leading 9-8 in the Champions tie-breaker, the two players engaged in a cross-court backhand exchange from the baseline before Enqvist blasted a deep backhand down-the-line approach shot that Courier was able to retrieve with a desperation lob. Enqvist, standing right on top of the net, elected not to let the ball bounce and shanked the overhead straight down off the frame of his racquet.

“You could never forecast that he was going to miss that shot,” said Courier of the missed overhead. “If he lets it bounce, he could hit it with the butt cap and make it and I wouldn’t be there. That was as improbable as it gets, but that’s why we play sports. The whacky happens. You just have to be paying attention.”

Enqvist did not blame the sun for the missed shot, just being too relaxed and letting his mind wander before finishing the point.

“I think I was just too casual,” he said. “It’s what you tell an amateur when you play the pro-ams with them, that sometimes they do those mistakes. They take their eye off the ball. I think I did that. It was a changeover (on the next point), and I think I was on my way to the other side (of the net) before I finished the shot. It was a bad time, obviously, to make that kind of mistake.”

Courier won a first-prize paycheck of $54,000 for winning the singles final and all three of his round-robin singles matches during the week. Enqvist earned $32,000 for his runner-up showing and for also winning all three of his round-robin singles matches.

Enqvist was the more aggressive player at the start of the match, dictating play from the baseline and working on Courier’s weaker back-hand wing. He broke Courier’s serve in the eighth game of the first set and served out the 6-3 set victory the next game. In the second set, Courier played with more urgency and aggression and registered one service break to take the second set 6-4 and force the decisive Champions tie-breaker, the 10-point tie-breaker played in lieu of a third set. Courier trailed 8-6 in the decisive tie-breaker, but rallied to win the final four points of the match, executing a backhand passing shot at 8-8 and benefitting from Enqvist’s missed overhead at 9-8 to win the match.

“I was hanging on by my fingernails at 8-6 (in the tiebreak),” said Courier. “I was just hoping for a little bit of luck and sometimes that’s what it takes.”

Courier attributed a change of strategy to a more defensive game plan to counter-attack the hard-hitting of Enqvist to getting him into the match after losing the first set.

“I really had to make a pretty major adjustment on my return serve against him, because he was really bringing the heat much bigger than I’d seen this week,” said Courier. “It was quicker today because it was warm, so I really had to revert back to just blocking everything back and just defending, which is not my nature. I like to play offense, but the nature of tennis is that if you’re ‘A-game’ isn’t working, you have to find another way. And that’s what I did today. I hung in there.I was a little tired coming into today. It’s been a busy week. I felt like I needed to try to find some energy for the finish, which I did. I served pretty well in the tiebreak, and just hung in. And that’s the thing about this sport, you just have to be better than the other guy. I was – just by my finger nails like (Olympic swimmer Michael) Phelps winning by a hundredth of a second. That was kind of the difference out there today, like winning by a hundredth of a second.”

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Said Enqvist of Courier, “He’s probably one of the toughest competitors we have in the game. It’s not the first time he pulled off this kind of victory. He always, always stays in the game, tries to find a way to win it. That’s one of his biggest strengths.”

The victory also earned Courier 800 ranking points to extend his lead in the Stanford Champions Rankings that determine the year-end champion on the Outback Champions Series circuit, the global tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30. For the first time in 2008, the year-end No. 1 on the Stanford Champions Rankings earns a $100,000 bonus. Courier now leads in the rankings with 3800 points, followed by John McEnroe and Wayne Ferreira with 1800 points and Aaron Krickstein with 1650 points. Enqvist earned 600 points to move into the No. 6 ranking position.

Enqvist, 34, was competing in his first Outback Champions Series final in only his second career event on the global champions’ tennis circuit. The 1999 Australian Open finalist and former world No. 4 was, coincidentally, the last player Courier played on the ATP circuit, handing the two-time French and Australian Open a second-round defeat at the 2000 Lipton Championships in Key Biscayne, Fla. – Courier’s final ATP singles match. The championship match in Dallas was the first Outback Champions Series meeting between the two players. Courier won six of eight meetings on the ATP tour.

Courier, 38, was appearing in his ninth career Outback Champions Series final and his fourth final for the 2008 season. Courier won events earlier this year in Grand Cayman in April and Charlotte in September while he lost to Pat Cash in the final in Newport in August.

In Sunday’s third place match, Krickstein defeated Ferreira 6-2, 6-4.

Founded in 2005, the Outback Champions Series features some of the biggest names in tennis over the last 25 years, including Pete Sampras, John 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.

The Outback Champions Series features eight events on its 2008 schedule, with each event featuring an eight-man round-robin match format. The winner of each four-player 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 Martin defeated 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 even in Boston April 30- May 4, defeating 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 event of the season in September in Charlotte, defeating Martin in the final. The next two events on the 2008 Outback Champions Series calendar are Surprise, Ariz., and Dubai, U.A.E. More information 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 for the week at the Stanford Championships

Round-Robin Results from Wednesday, October 22
Aaron Krickstein, United States, def. Todd Martin, United States, 7-6 (4), 6-4
Jim Courier, United States, def. Karel Novacek, Czech Republic, 6-3, 6-1

Round-Robin Results from Thursday, October 23
Thomas Enqvist, Sweden, def. Jimmy Arias, United States, 6-3, 6-2
Wayne Ferreira, South Africa, def. Justin Gimelstob, United States, 6-2, 7-6 (4)

Round-Robin Results From Friday, October 24
Wayne Ferreira, South Africa, def. Karel Novacek, Czech Republic, 7-5, 6-2
Todd Martin, United States, def. Jimmy Arias, United States, 6-4, 6-2
Thomas Enqvist, Sweden, def. Aaron Krickstein, United States, 6-1, 6-1
Jim Courier, United States, def. Justin Gimelstob, United States, 6-2, 4-6, 11-9 (Champions Tie-Breaker)

Round-Robin Results From Saturday, October 25
Jim Courier, United States, def. Wayne Ferreira, South Africa, 6-4, 6-3
Thomas Enqvist, Sweden, def. Todd Martin, United States, 4-6, 6-4, 11-9 (Champions Tie-Breaker)
Aaron Krickstein, United States, def. Jimmy Arias, United States, 6-3, 6-4
Karel Novacek, Czech Republic, def. Justin Gimelstob, United States (walkover, back injury)

Results From Sunday, October 26
Third-Place Play-off
Aaron Krickstein, United States, def. Wayne Ferreira, South Africa, 6-2, 6-4.
Championship Match
Jim Courier, United States, def. Thomas Enqvist, Sweden, 3-6, 6-4, 10-8 (Champions Tie-breaker)

Round-Robin Group Standings
Group A
Jim Courier 3-0
Wayne Ferreira 2-1
Karel Novacek 1-2
Justin Gimelstob 0-2

Group B
Thomas Enqvist 3-0
Aaron Krickstein 2-1
Todd Martin 1-2
Jimmy Arias 0-3

Mondays With Bob Greene: Naturally We Are Annoyed

STARS

Roger Federer won the Davidoff Swiss Indoors, beating David Nalbandian 6-3 6-4 in Basel, Switzerland

Andy Murray beat Andrey Golubev 6-1 6-1 to win the St. Petersburg Open in St. Petersburg, Russia

Robin Soderling won the Grand Prix de Tennis De Lyon by beating Julien Benneteau 6-3 6-7 (5) 6-1 in Lyon, France

Ana Ivanovic beat Vera Zvonareva 6-2 6-1 to win the Generali Ladies Linz in Linz, Austria

Elena Dementieva stopped Carolina Wozniacki 2-6 6-4 7-6 (4) to win the FORTIS Championships in Luxembourg

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beat Julie Coin 6-4 6-3 to win the Internationaux Feminins de la Vienne in Poitiers, France

Hyung-Taik Lee won the Samsung Securities Cup Challenger in Seoul, Korea, by beating Ivo Minar 6-4 6-0

Jim Courier beat Thomas Enqvist 3-6 6-4 10-8 (Champions tiebreak) to win the Stanford Championships in Dallas, Texas

SAYINGS

“There was a bit of disappointment but I gave a good fight for almost five years, so I’m proud of that, and I think Rafa deserves it this year because he’s played consistently well.” – Roger Federer, admitting he’s disappointed about not finishing the year as the number one player.

“This season has been hard, long and punishing. I will be very happy when I lose in Bercy.” – Richard Gasquet, after losing in Lyon, France, and talking about this week’s tournament in Paris.

“To see him give up mentally beforehand is quite simply abnormal. It is disrespectful vis-à-vis the public who he is counting on supporting him at Bercy. Naturally we are annoyed.” – Patrice Dominguez, national technical director of the French Tennis Federation, referring to Gasquet’s comment.

“This year has been a very positive year for me and I am looking forward to continued success in Doha.” – Venus Williams, after qualifying for the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha.

“It has been awhile since I last played and it feels wonderful to be one of the best eight players of the regular Sony Ericsson WTA Tour season.” – Vera Zvonareva, who qualified for the Sony Ericsson Championships.

“You could never forecast that he was going to miss that shot. If he lets it bounce, he could hit it with the butt cap and make it and I wouldn’t be there. That was as improbable as it gets, but that’s why we play sports. The whacky happens.” – Jim Courier, after Thomas Enqvist shanked an easy overhead on match point.

“I think I was just too casual. It’s what you tell an amateur when you play the pro-ams with them, that sometimes they do those mistakes. They take their eye off the ball. I think I did that.” – Thomas Enqvist.

“For the first set and a half we were completely outplayed. At 4-3 down in the second set Bopanna double-faulted at 40-40, and after that the momentum shifted our way.” – Travis Parrott, after teaming with Filip Polasek to win the doubles at St. Petersburg, Russia.

“I’m really disappointed with how I played today. I had no concentration at any stage of the match. Maybe today I finally paid for all of the traveling and the many matches I’ve played over the last several weeks.” – Vera Zvonareva, after losing to Ana Ivanovic in the title match of the Generali Ladies Linz.

“Rafael Nadal has donated the racquet he used to win the 2008 Wimbledon final, Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi both donated tennis racquets, while Roger Federer gave us the shirt off his own back.” – Lleyton Hewitt, on items donated to help raise money for a charity, Cure Our Kids.

SET FOR DOHA

The final two spots in the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships have been clinched by Vera Zvonareva and Venus Williams. The women’s tour will wind up with world’s top eight singles players and top four doubles teams in Doha, Qatar, November 4-9. It will be the third time Venus Williams will compete in the season-ending event, but her first since 2002. Others in the field include Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic, Serena Williams, Dinara Safina, Elena Dementieva and Svetlana Kuznetsova.

SIGN OF RESPECT

The new tennis center in Brisbane, Australia, has been named for two-time US Open champion Pat Rafter. The 5,500-seat Rafter Arena will open in January for the Brisbane International men’s and women’s hard court championships. The tournament is a warm-up for the Australian Open, which is held in Melbourne. Novak Djokovic, Marcos Baghdatis and Ana Ivanovic are confirmed for the event, the first international tennis tournament to be played in Brisbane since 1994.

SWEDE VICTORY

When Robin Soderling captured his second Lyon trophy, he became the first Swedish player to win an ATP title in almost three years. The last Swede to capture a tournament on the men’s tour was Thomas Johansson at St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2005. The victory over Frenchman Julien Benneteau will move Soderling into the top 20 of the South African Airways ATP Rankings for the first time. At Lyon, Soderling beat two top-ten players, Andy Roddick and Gilles Simon.

SWISS STAR

Roger Federer won his third straight Davidoff Swiss Indoors crown in his native Basel, Switzerland. He also has been runner-up twice in his nine appearances in Basel. And his 57th career title moves Federer into a tie with Ilie Nastase on the ATP list. He is now three titles behind Andre Agassi. Basel was Federer’s fourth title of 2008, highlighted by his fifth consecutive US Open win. This one came over David Nalbandian, the 2002 Swiss Indoors winner and the tournament’s number two seed. It was the first time since 1993 that the two top seeds have reached the final at Basel.

SHORT DAY

Andy Murray needed only 56 minutes to successfully defend his St. Petersburg Open title by defeating qualifier Andrey Golubev 6-1 6-1. It was the shortest final on the ATP tour this year, and the second fewest games in a title match since Mikhail Youzhny crushed Rafael Nadal 6-0 6-1 at the Chennai Open in January. Now ranked fourth in the world, Murray becomes the first British player to win consecutive titles since Mark Cox did it in March 1975. The Scott has won five titles this year, second only to the eight captured by Nadal. Murray is on a 12-match winning streak and has won 18 of his last 19 matches since losing in the first round of the Beijing Olympics to Taiwan’s Lu Yen-Hsun.

SHORT STAY

For the second straight year, Nikolay Davydenko made a brief appearance at the St. Petersburg Open. This time he injured his left wrist during a first-round victory over Chris Guccione, and then pulled out of the tournament. “I was able to finish the match, but today I felt a lot of pain and I just can’t play,” Davydenko said. Last year, the Russian was fined USD $2,000 by the ATP for not trying hard enough during his loss to qualifier Marin Cilic in a second-round match. The fine was overturned on appeal. Davydenko’s victory over Guccione was his 50th match win of the season, the fourth straight year he has won at least 50 matches.

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STAYING ON TOP

Despite what happens the rest of the way, Jelena Jankovic will end the season as the number one player in the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour rankings. Jankovic has a commanding points lead over Dinara Safina and will remain in the top spot regardless of the outcome of the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha. She secured the year-ending ranking by winning 12 straight matches en route to three consecutive titles in Beijing, Stuttgart and Moscow. She lost in the US Open final and reached the semifinals of two other Grand Slam tournaments.

SITTER MISSED

Holding match point at 9-8 in the Champions tiebreaker, Jim Courier sent a high defensive lob that just made it over the net in the final of the Stanford Championships in Dallas, Texas. But Thomas Enqvist, standing right on top of the net, elected not to let the ball bounce and shanked the overhead straight down off the frame of his racquet, giving Courier his sixth career Outback Champions Series title, 3-6 6-4 10-8 (Championships tiebreak). “I think I was too casual,” Enqvist said, while Courier said the missed overhead was “one of the nuttiest match points I’ve ever been a part of.”

SEASIDE TENNIS

Four top players will lead a five-day tennis “fantasy camp” on Maui, Hawaii, in November. Lindsay Davenport, Tom Gullikson, Robby Ginepri and Corina Morariu will participate in the four days of instruction and free play. Gullikson is the former US Davis Cup captain and Olympic coach, while Davenport was ranked number one in the world in both singles and doubles. She is one of only four women – joining Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert – to have been the year-ending number one at least four times. Ginepri is one of the top five American players currently on the ATP tour, while Morariu was ranked number one in the world in doubles before being diagnosed with leukemia. She made a complete recovery and was named Comeback Player of the Year on the WTA Tour. The “fantasy camp” is for adult tennis players ranging in skill from recreational to tournament-level.

STRIKING PAIR

Hall of Famer Michael Chang and women’s tennis pro Amber Liu are now husband and wife. Matthew Cronin reports the pair was married at Lake Hills Community Church in Laguna Hills, California, with the reception and dinner taking place at the St. Regis Hotel in Dana Point, California. Among those in attendance were Chang’s brother and coach, Carl; his cousin James Wan, who plays for Stanford University; John Austin, Anne Yelsey, Dick Gould, Lele Forood, Eliot Teltscher and Peanut Louis.

STRONG SALES

The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Championships will have some people in the seats, if ticket sales are any indication. According to tournament officials, more than 95 percent of the premium seats have been sold for the season-ending event that features the world’s top eight women’s singles players and top four doubles teams. The Championships will be held November 4-9 at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex in Doha, Qatar.

STANDING TALL

Lleyton Hewitt and his wife Bec have begun a month-long fundraising auction with proceeds going to Cure Our Kids, an organization which supports children with cancer and their families at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in New South Wales, Australia. The auction includes items donated by the Hewitts as well as from Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Ana Ivanovic, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graff, among others.

SAD NEWS

A former top-100 player from Italy, Federico Luzzi, is dead at the age of 28. Luzzi died at a hospital in Arezzo, Italy, of leukemia. He was hospitalized after retiring a few days earlier from an Italian league match, citing a high fever. He reached a career-high ranking of number 92 in 2002 before a shoulder injury plagued him the rest of his career. In February, Luzzi was suspended for 200 days and fined USD $50,000 by the ATP for betting on tennis. In 2001, he beat Ville Liukko of Finland 14-12 in the fifth set to complete a 4-hour, 35-minute victory, the longest Davis Cup match ever played by an Italian.

SO LONG

Bill Rusick, an All-American college player and later tennis coach and co-owner of a tennis club, has died at the age of 51. Rusick led Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville to two national championships and was inducted into the school’s hall of fame. He coached at McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois, and served as club pro and co-owner at St. Clair Tennis Club. He suffered from pancreatic cancer.

SHARED PERFORMANCES

Basel: Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles beat Christopher Kas and Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-3

St. Petersburg: Travis Parrott and Filip Polasek beat Rohan Bopanna and Max Mirnyi 3-6 7-6 (4) 10-8 (match tiebreak)

Lyon: Michael Llodra and Andy Ram beat Stephen Huss and Ross Hutchins 6-3 5-7 10-8 (match tiebreak)

Seoul: Lukasz Kubot and Oliver Marach beat Sanchai Ratiwatana and Sonchat Ratiwatana 7-5 4-6 10-6 (match tiebreak)

Linz: Katarina Srebotnik and Ai Sugiyama beat Cara Black and Liezel Huber 6-4 7-5

Luxembourg: Sorana Cirstea and Marina Erakovic beat Vera Dushevina and Mariya Koryttseva 2-6 6-3 10-8 (match tiebreak)

Poitiers: Petra Cetkovska and Lucie Safarova beat Akgul Amanmuradova and Monica Niculescu 6-4 6-4

SITES TO SURF

Paris: www.fft.fr/bnpparibasmasters//

Quebec: www.challengebell.com

Bratislava: www.stz.sk

Busan: www.busanopen.org/

Cali: www.tennisegurobolivar.com/

Doha: www.Sonyericsson-championships.com

Sunrise: http://www.championsseriestennis.com/arizona2008/

TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK

(All money in USD)

ATP

$2,450,000 BNP Paribas Masters, Paris, France, carpet

$125,000 Seguros Bolivar Open, Cali, Colombia, clay

$100,000 Busan Open Challenger, Busan, South Korea, hard

WTA TOUR

$175,000 Bell Challenge, Quebec City, Quebec, hard

$100,000 Ritro Slovak Open, Bratislava, Slovak Republic, hard

TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK

WTA TOUR

$4,450,000 Sony Ericsson Championships, Doha, Qatar, hard

$100,000 ITF women’s event, Krakow, Poland, hard

ATP

$106,500 Tatra Banka Open, Bratislava, Slovakia, hard

SENIORS

Cancer Treatment Centers of America Championships at Surprise, Surprise, Arizona

Courier and Enqvist To Square Off In Stanford Championships Final

DALLAS, October 25 – Jim Courier and Thomas Enqvist both completed perfect 3-0 round-robin records Saturday to advance into the championship match at the $150,000 Stanford Championships at the Turpin Tennis Center on the campus of Southern Methodist University.  In a re-match of the 2007 final of the Stanford Championships, Courier defeated defending champion Wayne Ferreira 6-4, 6-3, while Enqvist edged Todd Martin 4-6, 6-4, 11-9 (Champions Tie-Breaker). The Stanford Championships is the sixth of eight events on the 2008 Outback Champions Series, the global tennis circuit for champion tennis players age 30 and over.

Courier, a two-time French and Australian Open champion, used his trademark inside-out forehand to take early control of points and dictate play in winning his fourth straight match against Ferreira. Nonetheless, Ferreira stayed right with Courier until he served to stay in the opening set at 4-5. That’s when Courier struck for the decisive – and only – break of the first set to finish it off 6-4. The second set wasn’t much different, although it was even more in Courier’s favor. Courier gained an early break in the second set and never looked back. He ran into a bit of trouble while serving for the match at 5-3, but he saved two break points to seal the victory with a 6-3 decision.

“I had that lead in second set, but it never really felt safe,” said Courier. “Even though I’m serving well, I know Wayne is capable of doing just what he did in the second set, which is ripping some big shots and chasing some balls down.”

With a perfect 3-0 record heading into Sunday’s championship match, Courier said he is feeling great about his current form. “I’m playing really well,” he said. “My game is predicated on the forehand and the serve. The serve and the forehand is a one-two setup punch. I return pretty well to get into points, and from there I try to dominate with my forehand. It’s no mystery to any of these guys. We all know each other well at this point. It’s just about executing on the day. Right now, I’m on a good service rhythm, particularly on these courts, with how the ball is really flying here.”

“He served really well,” said Ferreira of Courier. “The ball was so fast today. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s during the day. The balls, they don’t really fluff up, they get really light. When he’s serves well and the ball is getting through like that, it’s tough. And when I got the ball in, it was hard to get rid of him and get the point going. So, a little bit tough. He just served better than me.”

Enqvist advanced into his first career Outback Champions Series final by outlasting Martin. Both men played at an extremely high level throughout the evening, but it was Martin who seized control early. The American moved Enqvist all over the court early on in the match and took the first set 6-4, with one service break. Enqvist, a former world No. 4 and the singles runner-up at the 1999 Australian Open, battled back in the second set, getting more aggressive and breaking early set to force a Champions tiebreaker, played in lieu of the third set. By winning at least a set, Enqvist was assured of reaching the final, but he pushed through none-the-less and won the Champions Tie-breaker 11-9.

“Todd was serving unbelievably well for a set and a half,” said Enqvist. “He forced me to make a lot of mistakes and then I started to get a few second serves to look at, I broke him and after that I played well enough to finish the second set off. But it all came down to the match tie-breaker. After I was down 5-Love, I started to serve really well and I was able to win a few important points. Sometimes luck goes your way and sometimes it doesn’t. It was a tough match, and I think I was a bit lucky tonight to win.”

While Ferreira will not defend his 2007 title in Dallas, he will play in Sunday’s third-place match against Aaron Krickstein, a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Jimmy Arias on Saturday. Against Arias, Krickstein broke serve in the second game of the match to open up a 2-0 lead and used that momentum to build a quick 5-0 advantage. Arias ran off three straight games at that point, but Krickstein served out the set at 5-3. Krickstein and Arias used similar tactics throughout the day, being consistent from the back of the court while waiting for an attackable forehand. Little separated the two players in the second set as the two progressed to 3-3. Krickstein, however, was quicker and had more power, and that primary difference finally started to show. He broke for a 4-3 lead and Arias could not recover, dropping serve again to succumb 6-3 in the second set.

“I played much better today,” said Krickstein. “I served much better. I got off to a good start, as opposed to yesterday. I moved better. But a lot of it is who you play. Thomas (Enqvist, his Friday opponent) hits a big ball. He certainly hits the biggest ball out here than anybody I’ve played. He serves really big. You need to hang in there on the first serve, like I did with Todd (Martin) in the first day, but I didn’t do that yesterday and it snowballed on me.”

Founded in 2005, the Outback Champions Series features some of the biggest names in tennis over the last 25 years, including Pete Sampras, John 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.

The Outback Champions Series features eight events on its 2008 schedule, with each event featuring an eight-man round-robin match format. The winner of each four-player 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 Martin defeated 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 even in Boston April 30- May 4, defeating 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 event of the season in September in Charlotte, defeating Martin in the final. The next three events on the 2008 Outback Champions Series calendar are Dallas, Surprise, Ariz., and Dubai, U.A.E. More information 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

The remaining schedule for The Stanford Championships is as follows;

Sunday, October 26
1:30 pm
Wayne Ferreira vs. Aaron Krickstein – 3rd place match
Followed by
Jim Courier vs. Thomas Enqvist – Championship match

Round-Robin Results from Wednesday, October 22
Aaron Krickstein, United States, def. Todd Martin, United States, 7-6 (4), 6-4
Jim Courier, United States, def. Karel Novacek, Czech Republic, 6-3, 6-1

Round-Robin Results from Thursday, October 23
Thomas Enqvist, Sweden, def. Jimmy Arias, United States, 6-3, 6-2
Wayne Ferreira, South Africa, def. Justin Gimelstob, United States, 6-2, 7-6 (4)

Round-Robin Results From Friday, October 24
Wayne Ferreira, South Africa, def. Karel Novacek, Czech Republic, 7-5, 6-2
Todd Martin, United States, def. Jimmy Arias, United States, 6-4, 6-2
Thomas Enqvist, Sweden, def. Aaron Krickstein, United States, 6-1, 6-1
Jim Courier, United States, def. Justin Gimelstob, United States, 6-2, 4-6, 11-9 (Champions Tie-Breaker)

Round-Robin Results From Saturday, October 25
Jim Courier, United States, def. Wayne Ferreira, South Africa, 6-4, 6-3
Thomas Enqvist, Sweden, def. Todd Martin, United States, 4-6, 6-4, 11-9 (Champions Tie-Breaker)
Aaron Krickstein, United States, def. Jimmy Arias, United States, 6-3, 6-4
Karel Novacek, Czech Republic, def. Justin Gimelstob, United States, walkover (Luis Herrera of Mexico def. Novacek 6-3 in exhibition match)

Round-Robin Group Standings
Group A
Jim Courier 3-0
Wayne Ferreira 2-1
Karel Novacek 1-2
Justin Gimelstob 0-3

Group B
Thomas Enqvist 3-0
Aaron Krickstein 2-1
Todd Martin 1-2
Jimmy Arias 0-3

Ferreira Set For Courier Clash At Stanford Championships In Dallas

DALLAS, October 24 – Defending champion Wayne Ferreira defeated Karel Novacek 7-5, 6-2 in round-robin play Friday at the 2008 Stanford Championships setting up a Saturday clash with top rival Jim Courier for the right to advance to the event’s championship match. Courier defeated Justin Gimelstob 6-2, 4-6, 11-9 (Champions Tie-Breaker) Friday evening to join Ferreira with a perfect 2-0 round-robin record in the tournament’s Group A. The winner of Saturday afternoon’s match-up – a re-match of the 2007 Stanford Championships final – will advance to the Sunday final at the Turpin Tennis Center on the campus of Southern Methodist University. In other matches played Friday, Todd Martin recovered from his Wednesday loss to Aaron Krickstein to defeat Jimmy Arias 6-4, 6-2 to even his round-robin record at 1-1 in Group B. Thomas Enqvist increased his record to 2-0 in Group B with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Aaron Krickstein.

Ferreira and Courier have established one of the best rivalries on the Outback Champions Series since the global tennis circuit for champion tennis players was founded in 2005. Their match on Saturday will be their 12th Outback Champions Series meeting, with Courier leading the series 6-5. After Ferreira won the 2007 Stanford Championships final by a 2-6, 6-3, 11-9 (Champions Tie-Breaker) margin (played indoors at the Dr. Pepper StarCenter in Frisco), Courier won the next three meetings in 2008 in the Cayman Islands, Boston and Newport heading into Saturday’s match-up. During their ATP careers, Courier won nine of 11 career meetings.

“It’s always fun to play against him,” said Ferreira of Courier. “He’s a great competitor. He’s leading the tour, so it’s always nice to try to beat him. It’s a tough one. He’s playing pretty well. Last couple of weeks, in Charlotte, he played very well, but I do well against him. We have tough battles. I’ve won a few of them. It’s always close. I’m excited.”

Said Courier of his rivalry with Ferreira and their pending match, “I beat him in Caymans. I beat him in Boston and I beat him in Newport, so, I’ve got the better of him this year. But it’s not been easy. Our match in Caymans was a war. It was super hot, humid day. Both of us barely survived it. I just won the big points – the old cliché. He’s playing well here. He’s definitely stepped up his game here. I’m sure he’s ready for a little revenge, but I’m ready for a little Dallas revenge on him, too.”

The Courier-Ferreira match will also have reverberations on the Stanford Champions Rankings, used to determine the year-end champion on the Outback Champions Series and the winner of a year-end $100,000 bonus. Courier currently leads the rankings with 3000 points, while Ferreira stands in third place with 1750 points, 100 points behind second-place John McEnroe, who is not playing in Dallas this week. A win for Ferreira would cut into Courier’s lead and put him in contention for winning the year-end cash prize.

Against Gimelstob, Courier had to escape a 5-8 deficit in the Champions Tie-Breaker – the 10-point tie-breaker played in lieu of a third-set – to pull out the victory. Gimelstob, a last-minute replacement in the field when three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker withdrew from the event with a back injury, played spirited tennis, but not enough to overcome the two-time French and Australian Open champion.

“It was a tough start,” said Gimelstob, a former U.S. Davis Cup teammate of Courier. “I haven’t played much competitive tennis. It’s different just practicing and actually playing a match. It took me a little while. I got incrementally better between yesterday and today, but I had some chances there tonight. I fought back. I started serving a little better, but he (Courier) puts a lot of pressure on you. If you play some bad points, there’s not a lot of margin for you in the tiebreaker.”

After struggling to find his form in his loss to Krickstein on Wednesday night, Martin found his rhythm against Arias, especially on his serve that helped him register the straight-set win.

“I felt much better with my serve,” said Martin. “My toss was more consistent and that frees me up quite a bit. And also just getting used to the speed of the court, playing two days out of three is better than two days out of seven over three weeks.”

After his impressive win over Martin on Wednesday night, Krickstein ran into a buzz saw in Enqvist, who did little wrong in registering the 6-1, 6-1 victory.

“I had a bad start and served a bad game to begin with and got behind the eight ball right away,” said Krickstein. “He serves awful well, so he’s not a good player to be playing catch-up with. I got down two breaks. I had a few chances to get back into it, but he was playing awful well. I just never could get ahead to get any momentum. I was always clawing back, fighting back from behind. It was certainly was a struggle for me.”

Enqvist said he felt the match was much closer than the score indicated.

“I think we had a lot of good rallies, especially on the second set where I came out on the top of those and I broke him,” said Enqvist, the 1999 Australian Open runner-up to Yevgeny Kafelnikov. “Then you can relax and you can take a few chances. Aaron is a very dangerous player, very consistent. And if you don’t play well against him, he can easily turn the match around on you and beat you. So, it was big scores, but it was very good tennis, especially in the second set.”

Founded in 2005, the Outback Champions Series features some of the biggest names in tennis over the last 25 years, including Pete Sampras, John 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.

The Outback Champions Series features eight events on its 2008 schedule, with each event featuring an eight-man round-robin match format. The winner of each four-player 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 Martin defeated 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 even in Boston April 30- May 4, defeating 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 event of the season in September in Charlotte, defeating Martin in the final. The next three events on the 2008 Outback Champions Series calendar are Dallas, Surprise, Ariz., and Dubai, U.A.E. More information 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

The remaining schedule for The Stanford Championships is as follows;

Saturday, October 25
1:30pm
Aaron Krickstein vs. Jimmy Arias
Mixed doubles featuring Anna Kournikova
Jim Courier vs. Wayne Ferreira
6:30pm
Thomas Enqvist vs. Todd Martin
Mixed doubles featuring Anna Kournikova
Justin Gimelstob vs. Karel Novacek

Sunday, October 26
1:30 pm
3rd place match
Championship match

Round-Robin Results from Wednesday, October 22
Aaron Krickstein, United States, def. Todd Martin, United States, 7-6 (4), 6-4
Jim Courier, United States, def. Karel Novacek, Czech Republic, 6-3, 6-1

Round-Robin Results from Thursday, October 23
Thomas Enqvist, Sweden, def. Jimmy Arias, United States, 6-3, 6-2
Wayne Ferreira, South Africa, def. Justin Gimelstob, United States, 6-2, 7-6 (4)

Round-Robin Results From Friday, October 24
Wayne Ferreira, South Africa, def. Karel Novacek, Czech Republic, 7-5, 6-2
Todd Martin, United States, def. Jimmy Arias, United States, 6-4, 6-2
Thomas Enqvist, Sweden, def. Aaron Krickstein, United States, 6-1, 6-1
Jim Courier, United States, def. Justin Gimelstob, United States, 6-2, 4-6, 11-9 (Champions Tie-Breaker)

Round-Robin Group Standings
Group A
Jim Courier 2-0
Wayne Ferreira 2-0
Justin Gimelstob 0-2
Karel Novacek 0-2

Group B
Thomas Enqvist 2-0
Aaron Krickstein 1-1
Todd Martin 1-1
Jimmy Arias 0-2

Enqvist and Ferreira Post Opening Wins In Dallas

DALLAS, October 23 – Thomas Enqvist and Wayne Ferreira each posted opening round-robin match victories Thursday at the 2008 Stanford Championships at the Turpin Tennis Center on the campus of Southern Methodist University. Enqvist, from Sweden, defeated American Jimmy Arias 6-3, 6-2, while Ferreira, the defending champion from South Africa, defeated Justin Gimelstob of the United States 6-2, 7-6 (4). The Stanford Championships are the sixth of eight events on the 2008 Outback Champions Series, the global tennis circuit for champion tennis players age 30 and over.

Enqvist, a former world No. 4 and the singles runner-up at the 1999 Australian Open, is competing in his second Outback Champions Series event. The Swede, who is two-and-a-half years removed from his ATP career, posted a 2-1 round-robin record in his debut event in Charlotte last month, but failed to advance into the tournament’s championship match or third-place match. His win over Arias Thursday puts him in good standing in round robin Group B with upcoming matches against Todd Martin and Aaron Krickstein. Against Arias, Enqvist broke serve to open the match and held on to win the opening set 6-3. The Swede over-powered Arias from the baseline in the second set, registering two service breaks to close out the second set 6-2.

“I played steady and I took my chances, so I think it was a good match,” said Enqvist. “It’s always important to get off to a good start.”

Arias, 10 years older and six inches shorter than Enqvist, said his inability to put enough balls away against his younger, stronger opponent was the major difference in the match.

“I’m annoyed at myself in some ways, because I can hit the ball big enough to compete with him, but I have trouble pulling the trigger sometimes,” said the 44-year-old Arias. “I’m just a little edgy, so that I over spin and when I over spin, it doesn’t do enough to hurt him. Like, I’m not going to hit a winner and then eventually he’s going to get a hold of one and hit it 700 miles per hour and then I’m in trouble. Obviously he serves bigger than me and all that sort of stuff to. I just wish there were certain points. Like in the last game, I had love-15, and I had a short forehand and I approached to his backhand with spin. And he got there and ripped a backhand cross-court winner. I should have been able to put that ball away, the forehand, but I was so tense, I couldn’t quite let it fly. And that’s not good enough against him. It might be good enough against some people, but it’s not good enough against him.”

A fan favorite at Outback Champions Series events due to his constant bantering with his opponents and the fans, Arias admitted in his post-match press conference that his behavior is not a reflection of him being loose on the court, but rather a cover for his nerves.

“I’m the opposite of loose – I’m faking like you wouldn’t believe,” said Arias, who ranked No. 5 in the world in 1984. “I’m as tight as a drum. I wish I could relax. I mean, I’m having fun playing. But I want to play well. I hit some cool shots, actually, that I was happy with. A couple of half-volleys that I couldn’t believe I made.”

Ferreira won the Stanford Championships last year when the event was played indoors at the Dr. Pepper StarCenter in Frisco, defeating Jim Courier 2-6, 6-3, 11-9 (Champions Tie-Breaker) in the final. Against Gimelstob, a last-minute replacement in the tournament for the injured Boris Becker, Ferreira registered back-to-back service breaks in the sixth and eighth games to capture the first set. Neither player surrendered serve in the second set, before Ferreira took the tie-breaker 7-4.

“It’s great here,” said Ferreira of Dallas and the Turpin Tennis Center at SMU. “The facility is fantastic. The kids at this school are a little spoiled to have a facility like this to come out to everyday. It’s fun for us to come out here and play, too. A lot of the guys playing here are really, really good. It’s a blast. I’m already having a lot of fun.”

Despite being a replacement for the popular Becker, who pulled out of the event on Wednesday with a back injury, Gimelstob received plenty of crowd support from the fans, including a group of women who were quite vociferous in their support for the former U.S. Davis Cup team member.

Joked Gimelstob of the group of female supporters, “They’ve got very good taste down here in Dallas.”

Gimelstob, 31, was competing against Ferreira on the exact one-year anniversary date of his final ATP singles match in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2007.

Founded in 2005, the Outback Champions Series features some of the biggest names in tennis over the last 25 years, including Pete Sampras, John 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.

The Outback Champions Series features eight events on its 2008 schedule, with each event featuring an eight-man round-robin match format. The winner of each four-player 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 Martin defeated 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 even in Boston April 30- May 4, defeating 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 event of the season in September in Charlotte, defeating Martin in the final. The next three events on the 2008 Outback Champions Series calendar are Dallas, Surprise, Ariz., and Dubai, U.A.E. More information 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

The remaining schedule for The Stanford Championships is as follows;

Friday, October 24
1:30pm
Wayne Ferreira vs. Karel Novacek
Todd Martin vs. Jimmy Arias
6:30pm
Thomas Enqvist vs. Aaron Krickstein
Jim Courier vs. Justin Gimelstob

Saturday, October 25
1:30pm
Aaron Krickstein vs. Jimmy Arias
Mixed doubles featuring Anna Kournikova
Jim Courier vs. Wayne Ferreira
6:30pm
Thomas Enqvist vs. Todd Martin
Mixed doubles featuring Anna Kournikova
Justin Gimelstob vs. Karel Novacek

Sunday, October 26
1:30 pm
3rd place match
Championship match

Round-Robin Results from Wednesday, October 22
Aaron Krickstein, United States, def. Todd Martin, United States, 7-6 (4), 6-4
Jim Courier, United States, def. Karel Novacek, Czech Republic, 6-3, 6-1

Round-Robin Results from Thursday, October 23
Thomas Enqvist, Sweden, def. Jimmy Arias, United States, 6-3, 6-2
Wayne Ferreira, South Africa, def. Justin Gimelstob, United States, 6-2, 7-6 (4)

Round-Robin Group Standings
Group A
Jim Courier 1-0
Wayne Ferreira 1-0
Justin Gimelstob 0-1
Karel Novacek 0-1

Group B
Aaron Krickstein 1-0
Thomas Enqvist 1-0
Jimmy Arias 0-1
Todd Martin 0-1

Enqvist and Novacek Replace Injured Philippoussis and Pernfors in Dallas

NEW YORK, N.Y., October 15, 2008 – InsideOut Sports & Entertainment today announced that Thomas Enqvist of Sweden and Karel Novacek of the Czech Republic will be added to the field at The Stanford Championships, to be played October 22-26 on the campus of SMU in Dallas. Enqvist and Novacek will replace Australia’s Mark Philippoussis and Sweden’s Mikael Pernfors, who are both injured and unable to compete in the eight-player Outback Champions Series event. Philippoussis is still not recovered sufficiently from knee surgery, while Pernfors is still recovering from an Achilles injury.

Three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker leads the field in Dallas, competing in his first tournament in the United States since he played in the Lipton Championships in Key Biscayne, Fla., in 1999. Becker will play fellow former No. 1 player in the world Jim Courier, defending Stanford Championships winner Wayne Ferreira and Novacek in Group A of the round robin portion of the event. Todd Martin, the 1999 US Open finalist, will be joined by Enqvist and Americans Aaron Krickstein and Jimmy Arias in Group B. Anna Kournikova, the former top 10 star of the WTA Tour and former No. 1 doubles player in the world, will also compete in mixed doubles exhibition matches scheduled for Saturday. The full schedule of play for the event can be found below.

Tickets for the event are available now and can be purchased by calling 877-332-TIXX (8499). Ticket prices start at $12. Full ticket and event information can be found at www.ChampionSeriesTennis.com.

Enqvist, 34, achieved a career-high ranking of No. 4 in 1999, the same year he reached the final at the Australian Open, where he lost to Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia. Enqvist won 19 career ATP singles titles and contributed to Sweden winning Davis Cup titles in 1997 and 1998.

Novacek, 43, achieved a career high ranking of No. 8 in the world and posted the most significant results of his career at the US Open, where he reached the singles semifinals in 1994, losing to Michael Stich, and reaching the doubles final in 1993 with Martin Damm, losing to Ken Flach and Robert Seguso. He won 13 career ATP singles titles.

Philippoussis, a former Wimbledon and U.S. Open finalist, was hoping to launch his comeback to professional tennis in Dallas, but due to a delay in his recovery from knee surgery, he will not be able to compete. He is, however, hopeful to still compete later this fall at The Cancer Treatment Centers of America Championships at Surprise, November 5-9, 2008 in Surprise, Arizona.

Founded in 2005, the Outback Champions Series features some of the biggest names in tennis over the last 25 years, including Pete Sampras, John 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.

The Outback Champions Series features eight events on its 2008 schedule, with each event featuring an eight-man round-robin match format. The winner of each four-player 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. Through the first five events in 2008, Courier holds the No. 1 ranking with 3000 points. McEnroe holds the No. 2 ranking with 1800 points while Ferreira is in third position with 1450 points.

The 2008 Outback Champions Series kicked off March 12-16 in Naples, Fla., at The Oliver Group Champions Cup where Martin defeated 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 even in Boston April 30- May 4, defeating 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 event of the season in September in Charlotte, defeating Martin in the final. The next three events on the 2008 Outback Champions Series calendar are Dallas, Surprise, Ariz., and Dubai, U.A.E. More information 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

Schedule of play:
The Stanford Championships
October 22 – 26, 2008

Group A:
Jim Courier
Boris Becker
Wayne Ferreira
Karel Novacek

Group B:
Todd Martin
Thomas Enqvist
Aaron Krickstein
Jimmy Arias

Wednesday, October 22
6:30pm
Martin v. Krickstein
Courier v. Novacek

Thursday, October 23
6:30pm
Enqvist v. Arias
Becker v. Ferreira

Friday, October 24
1:30pm
Ferreira v. Novacek
Martin v. Arias
6:30pm
Enqvist v. Krickstein
Courier v. Becker

Saturday, October 25
1:30pm
Krickstein v. Arias
Mixed doubles featuring Anna Kournikova
Courier v. Ferreira
6:30pm
Enqvist v. Martin
Mixed doubles featuring Anna Kournikova
Becker v. Novacek

Sunday, October 26
1:30 pm
3rd place match
Championship match

Courier and Ferreira Remain Undefeated In Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. September 26 – Jim Courier and Wayne Ferreira each registered victories Friday at the $150,000 Citadel Group Championships at The Palisades to post 2-0 round-robin records, leaving both players one match victory from advancing into the event’s championship match. In the first match played in the afternoon, Ferreira defeated Karel Novacek of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-1, while Courier, in the final match of the day, defeated fellow American Aaron Krickstein 6-2, 6-3. The continuous rains in Charlotte led to the cancellation of the Friday afternoon and evening sessions at The Palisades. In order to keep the tournament on track for a Sunday finish, all of Friday’s matches were played indoors. The other two matches played Friday where both decided in Champions Tie-Breakers – 10-point tie-breakers played in lieu of a third set. Thomas Enqvist of Sweden defeated Todd Martin 6-4, 5-7, 10-8 (Champions Tie-Breaker), while Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia defeated Jimmy
Arias 3-6, 6-3, 10-7 (Champions Tie-Breaker). The Citadel Group Championships at The Palisades is the fifth of eight events on the 2008 Outback Champions Series, the global tennis circuit for champion tennis players age 30 and over.

Courier, the two-time French and Australian Open champion, played near flawless tennis against Krickstein, committing very few unforced errors and dominating play with his forehand and a high percentage of first serves.

“I felt good serving,” said Courier, who won the inaugural title in Charlotte in 2006. “I don’t think I missed many serves, and when my serve is “on”, then I’m good to go. I think I had about 16 aces.”

“I didn’t play as well as I should have against Jim,” said Krickstein. “Jim is really tough to beat. I had a couple of opportunities being up an Ad, but I ended up losing them, and that hurt me – especially being down 4-1. Jim just served better than me today, I was out-served. Jim took the ball early and hit with a lot of power today.”

Courier, the No. 1 ranked player on the ATP Tour for the 1992 season, is currently the No. 1 player in the Stanford Champions Rankings, the official rankings for the Outback Champions Series. His best results on the season came when he won the title in Grand Cayman in April, and was the runner-up in Newport, R.I. in August. If he is able to defeat Ivanisevic on Saturday night and finish with a 3-0 record in round robin group A, he will advance into his eighth career Outback Champions Series final.

Said Courier of playing Ivanisevic, “I need to serve well again because Goran has one of the biggest serves in the tournament. Goran is extremely talented but he plays up and down, hot and cold, so I need to stay level against him.”

Ferreira, the South African whom Courier beat to win the title in Grand Cayman earlier this year, had little trouble with Novacek, taking advantage of the fast indoor conditions.

“I’m very pleased with how I played,” said Ferreira. “I had a good serve, especially my first serve. I had quite a few doubles (double faults) though.”

Said Novacek, “Wayne was much more aggressive and more precise with his shots than I was.”

Enqvist, playing in his first Outback Champions Series event, avenged his loss to Martin in the match-clinching rubber of the USA vs. Sweden Davis Cup semifinal in Las Vegas and may have prevented Martin from advancing to the Charlotte final for a third year in a row. Martin lost the 2006 Charlotte final to Courier, while last year, he fell in the championship match to Pete Sampras. Martin, who beat Novacek in his opening round-robin match, will have to beat Ferreira Saturday in order to advance into the championship match at The Palisades for a third straight year.

“I know I have to win tomorrow to make it to the finals,” said Martin. “I played well (against Enqvist), but I hit some tough patches, and tried to work through them, but just couldn’t.”

Said Enqvist, “We played a very close match, and I served very well. I was very pleased with my serve. At one point, I think I had four aces in a row. I was lucky to get through this one. It feels good have a win.”

The Outback Champions Series features eight events on its 2008 schedule, with each event featuring an eight-man round-robin match format. The winner of each four-player 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. Through the first four events in 2008, Courier holds the No. 1 ranking with 2200 points. John McEnroe holds the No. 2 ranking with 1800 points while Ferreira is in third position with 1050 points.

The 2008 Outback Champions Series kicked off March 12-16 in Naples, Fla., at The Oliver Group Champions Cup where Martin defeated 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 even in Boston April 30- May 4, defeating Krickstein in the final. Pat Cash won his first Outback Champions Series title in Newport, R.I., in August, defeating Courier in the final. After Charlotte, the next three events on the 2008 Outback Champions Series calendar are stops in Dallas, Texas, Surprise, Ariz., and Dubai, U.A.E. More information can be obtained by visiting www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com.

Founded in 2005, the Outback Champions Series features some of the biggest names in tennis over the last 25 years, including Pete Sampras, John 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. . Each event also has the right to choose a “wild card” entrant.

InsideOut Sports & Entertainment is a New York City-based independent producer of proprietary events and promotions founded in 2004 by former world No. 1 and Hall of Fame tennis player Jim Courier and former SFX and Clear Channel executive Jon Venison. In 2005, InsideOut launched its signature property, the Outback Champions Series, a collection of tennis events featuring the greatest names in tennis over the age of 30. In addition, InsideOut produces many other successful events including one-night “Legendary Night” exhibitions as well as 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

The remaining schedule for The Citadel Group Championships at The Palisades is as follows;

Saturday, September 27
Beginning at 1:30 pm
Thomas Enqvist vs. Karel Novacek
Followed by
Anna Kournikova and Tim Wilkison vs. Chanda Rubin and Jimmy Arias
Followed by
Todd Martin vs. Wayne Ferreira
Beginning at 6:30 pm
Jimmy Arias vs. Aaron Krickstein
Followed by
Anna Kournikova and Karel Novacek vs. Chanda Rubin and Tim Wilkison
Followed by
Jim Courier vs. Goran Ivanisevic

Sunday, September 28
Beginning at 2:30 pm
Third-Place Match
Followed by
Championship Match

Round-Robin Results from Wednesday, September 24
Todd Martin, United States, def. Karel Novacek, Czech Republic, 6-4, 6-2
Aaron Krickstein, United States, def. Goran Ivanisevic, Croatia, 7-5, 6-7 (5), 10-7 (Champions Tie-Break)

Round-Robin Results from Thursday, September 25
Jim Courier, United States, def. Jimmy Arias, United States, 6-2, 6-1
Wayne Ferreira, South Africa, def. Thomas Enqvist, Sweden, 6-4, 6-3

Round-Robin Results from Friday, September 26
Jim Courier, United States, def. Aaron Krickstein, United States, 6-2, 6-3
Thomas Enqvist, Sweden, def. Todd Martin, United States, 6-4, 5-7, 10-8 (Champions Tie-Breaker)
Goran Ivanisevic, Croatia, def. Jimmy Arias, United States, 3-6, 6-3, 10-7 (Champions Tie-Breaker)
Wayne Ferreira, South Africa, def. Karel Novacek, Czech Republic, 6-2, 6-1

Round-Robin Group Standings
Group A
Wayne Ferreira 2-0
Thomas Enqvist 1-1
Todd Martin 1-1
Karel Novacek 0-2

Group B
Jim Courier 2-0
Aaron Krickstein 1-1
Goran Ivanisevic 1-1
Jimmy Arias 0-2