trophy shelf

Birthday Boy Courier Looking For First Grass Court Title

NEW YORK, N.Y., August 17, 2009 – Jim Courier, who turns 39 years old today, is hoping to have a belated birthday gift this coming Sunday in the form of his first professional grass court tournament title at the $150,000 Hall of Fame Champions Cup at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. Courier, the No. 1-ranked player on the Outback Champions Series, the global tennis circuit for champion tennis players age 30 and over, is looking to add a grass court tournament title to his trophy shelf and grab his second Outback Champions Series title of 2009.

“I’m still on the hunt for my first grass court title,” said Courier. “I lost in the finals of this tournament last year and also made the finals of a little tournament outside of London once but I’ve never lifted a trophy on grass. I know I’m running out of time so the hunger is there to change that in Newport.”

Courier opens play at the Hall of Fame Champions Cup on Thursday, August 20 during the 1 pm session against fellow American Jimmy Arias. A win over Arias would place Courier in the semifinals, where he would meet the winner of two former grass-court winners at the prestigious Queen’s Club event – 1994 champion Todd Martin and 1993 champion Wayne Ferreira.

Courier’s best grass court showing during his ATP Tour career came in reaching the Wimbledon final in 1993, where he was defeated by Pete Sampras 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3. On the Outback Champions Series, Courier reached the final at Newport in 2008, losing to Pat Cash 6-3, 6-4. In 2007, he finished in third place in Newport, beating Cash 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 (Champions Tie-Breaker) in the third-place match.

Rounding out the field this year in Newport are Cash, Mats Wilander, Mark Philippoussis and Mikael Pernfors. Individual and series tickets for the event can be purchased at 866-914-FAME (3263) or by visiting www.tennisfame.com. The Hall of Fame Champions Cup is the fifth of eight events on the 2009 Outback Champions Series and runs from August 20-23. The tournament will be an eight-player, single-knock-out event with the winner earning $60,000.

The complete schedule of play for the Hall of Fame Champions Cup is as follows;

Thursday, August 20th – 1pm

Singles Quarterfinal – Todd Martin vs. Wayne Ferreira

Followed by Doubles Exhibition – Mats Wilander & Mikael Pernfors vs. Mark Philippoussis & Pat Cash

Followed by Singles Quarterfinal – Jim Courier vs. Jimmy Arias

Friday, August 21st – 1pm

Singles Quarterfinal – Mark Philippoussis vs. Mikael Pernfors

Followed by Doubles Exhibition – Jim Courier & Wayne Ferreira vs. Todd Martin & Jimmy Arias

Followed by Singles Quarterfinal – Pat Cash vs. Mats Wilander

Saturday, August 22nd – 1pm

Singles Semifinal – Martin/Ferreira winner vs. Courier/Arias winner

Followed by Doubles Exhibition

Followed by Singles Semifinal – Philippoussis/Pernfors winner vs. Cash/Wilander winner

Sunday, August 23rd – 1pm

3rd Place Match

Followed by

Championship Match

Pete Sampras won the opening event on the 2009 Outback Champions Series, defeating John 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 Patrick Rafter in the final. Courier won his first title of the 2009 season in April at the Cayman Islands, defeating Arias in the final. Following Newport, remaining events on the Outback Champions Series will be held in Charlotte (Sept. 24-27), Surprise, Ariz. (Oct. 8-11) and Dubai, U.A.E. (Nov. 18-21).

Courier leads the current Champions Rankings on the Outback Champions Series with 2000 points, followed by Sampras with 1600 points and McEnroe with 1300 points. Arias sits at a career-high No. 4 in the Champions Series ranking with 1050 points, followed by Cash with 700 points at No. 5 and Philippoussis at No. 6 with 600 points. Wilander, Pernfors and Patrick Rafter are tied at No. 7 with 500 points, while Martin rounds out the top 10 with 400 points.

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 eight 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.

The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, established in 1954, is a non-profit institution dedicated to preserving the history of tennis, inspiring and encouraging junior tennis development, enshrining tennis heroes and heroines, and providing a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide. It was recognized as the sport’s official Hall of Fame in 1986 by the International Tennis Federation, the governing body of tennis. The International Tennis Hall of Fame’s legendary grass courts remain the only competition grass courts available for professional events and exhibitions, while also available for public play. For more information about the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, events and programs, please call 401-849-3990 or log on to www.tennisfame.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, private 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.