Written by The Blackrock Tour of Champions
For the latest news and exclusive videos from the BlackRock Tour of Champions, go to: http://www.blackrocktourofchampions.com
RIOS FIRES BACK TO CLAIM BARCELONA TITLE
Marcelo Rios came back from an early service loss to defeat Michael Stich 6-3, 6-3 and win the title at the BlackRock Tour of Champions event in Barcelona.
Rios, who dominated the circuit of former World No.1’s, Grand Slam finalists and Davis Cup winners in 2006, began what could be another impressive year in fine style.
Stich caused him trouble early on with his serve and volley style, but Rios eventually got to grips with the German and pummelled away from the baseline.
“It’s nice to come here to Barcelona and win the title,” said Rios.
“Stich is tough to play because he is always at the net, but I played pretty good. When I play an event I try to get in good shape so that I can play good tennis.”
Stich was disappointed to have been re-broken after starting so well.
“I had my chances, but I wasn’t moving well enough today and Marcelo is still very fit and strong,” said Stich. “He played well today and he has such variety with short angled backhands and high looping forehands. He would still give the guys today trouble with that style.”
Third place went to Cedric Pioline, whose opponent Albert Costa was forced to retire with an injury while 7-6, 3-1 down.
Next, the BlackRock Tour of Champions will visit the Foro Italico in Rome over the weekend of the 10th and 11th May, and then the BlackRock Tennis Classic at the Rothenbaum Club in Hamburg, 14-18 May.
After that, Pete Sampras will make his long awaited debut on the BlackRock Tour of Champions in Sao Paulo, 21-24 May, 2008.
Here he looks forward to playing in Sao Paulo, and again in London in December: http://www.30love.net/index.html#openVideo-YmxhY2tyb2NrX3RvdXJfb2ZfY2hhbXBpb25zLjEyMDgyNzE2NjMzNzM
The Tour opened in Belfast in February with Anders Jarryd successfully defending his title.
FINAL GROUP STANDINGS
Matches won/lost (sets)
Marcelo Rios 3-0 (6-1)
Sergi Bruguera 2-1 (4-2) withdrawn
Cedric Pioline 1-2 (3-4)
Carl-Uwe Steeb 0-3 (0-6)
Michael Stich 2-1 (4-2)
Albert Costa 2-1 (4-2)
Magnus Larsson 2-1 (4-3)
Henri Leconte 0-3 (1-6)
SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS 2008 TOUR OF CHAMPIONS RANKINGS (after two events)
POS. PLAYER PTS
1= Anders Jarryd 400
1= Marcelo Rios 400
3= Mikael Pernfors 250
3= Michael Stich 250
5= Chris Wilkinson (WC) 200
5= Cedric Pioline 200
7= Jeremy Bates (WC) 125
7= Albert Costa 125
9 Henri Leconte 120
10= Sergi Bruguera 80
10= Magnus Larsson 80
10= John McEnroe 80
10= Pat Cash 80
14= Bjorn Borg 60
14= Carl Uwe Steeb 60
WC denotes Wild Card.
The BlackRock Tour of Champions Calendar 2008
Belfast, Northern Ireland – February 21-24 (Tennis Legends) – Champions: Anders Jarryd; Runner-up: Mikael Pernfors
Barcelona, Spain – April 24-27 (Champions Cup ’08) – Champion: Marcelo Rios; runner-up: Michael Stich
Rome, Italy – May 10-11
Hamburg, Germany – May 14-17 (BlackRock Tennis Classic)
Sao Paulo, Brazil – May 21-24 (Nossa Caixa Grand Champions Brasil)
Istanbul, Turkey – July 17-20
Graz, Austria – July 29-August 2 (s Tennis Masters)
Algarve, Portugal – August 5-8 (Vale do Lobo Grand Champions CGD)
Paris, France – September 18-21 (5e Trophée Jean-Luc Lagardère)
Luxembourg, Luxembourg – September 25-28
Eindhoven, Netherlands – October 2-5 (AFAS Tennis Classics)
Budapest, Hungary – October 9-12
Frankfurt, Germany – November 13-16 (klarmobil.de Champions Trophy)
Brussels, Belgium – November 20-23
London, UK – December 2-7 (BlackRock Masters Tennis)
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Written by The Blackrock Tour of Champions