BOSTON, December 16, 2008 – InsideOut Sports & Entertainment today announced that Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Mats Wilander, Jim Courier and Anna Kournikova will headline a new-look $150,000 Champions Cup Boston tennis championships February 13-15, 2009 at Boston University’s Agganis Arena.
Sampras, the seven-time Wimbledon champion and the winner of more major singles titles (14) than any other man, headlines a six-player field that also includes seven-time major singles champions John McEnroe and Mats Wilander, four-time major singles champion Jim Courier, two-time major singles finalist Todd Martin and 1986 French Open runner-up Mikael Pernfors. Kournikova, a former world No. 1 doubles player and one of the most popular female athletes of all-time, will compete in special mixed doubles exhibition matches during both the day and night sessions on Valentine’s Day, Saturday, February 14, with a to-be-announced female player as well as players chosen from the field of six men’s competitors in the tournament field.
Tickets for Champions Cup Boston are available now by logging onto www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com or by calling Ticketmaster at (617) 931-2000.
Courier made the announcement today at Harvard University’s Murr Center along with Ned Eames, president and founder of Tenacity, the benefiting charity of the Boston event. At the announcement, Courier stepped onto the court to give pointers to Tenacity tennis students.
“I’m thrilled to be included in this top-notch field featuring some of the greatest names in tennis,” said Courier, Co-Founder of InsideOut Sports & Entertainment and the Outback Champions Series. “You will be hard pressed to find a better line up than this one, with 32 major singles titles held among the competing players. The addition of mixed doubles will surely be an exciting new aspect of the event for the fans.”
Boston will be the first tournament on the 2009 Outback Champions Series, a collection of men’s tennis events in the United States and abroad featuring some of the greatest names in the sport over the age of 30. McEnroe will defend his Champions Cup title where, one year ago, he defeated Aaron Krickstein for his first-ever win in an Outback Champions Series event. The final was a hotly-contested match with both McEnroe and Krickstein winning a set before McEnroe dominated the Champions tiebreak 10-5.
“Boston has some of the most passionate fans on the tour and that’s why we are excited to be back at Agganis Arena for the fourth Champions Cup,” said Jon Venison, Co-Founder of InsideOut Sports & Entertainment and the Outback Champions Series. “Last year’s event was a huge success with large, enthusiastic crowds throughout the tournament. With the addition of Anna Kournikova to this year’s star-studded field, we are expecting even more interest and enthusiasm from tennis fans throughout the region.”
The Champions Cup Boston schedule will kick-off with two quarterfinal singles matches on Friday evening, Feb. 13. Both day and night sessions on Saturday, Feb. 14 will feature a singles semifinal match and a mixed doubles match, while the Sunday, Feb. 15 session will feature the third-place play-off and the championship match.
Founded in 2005, the Outback Champions Series features some of the biggest names in tennis over the last 25 years, including 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. Each event features $150,000 in prize money as well as Champions Series ranking points that will determine the year-end Stanford Champions Rankings No. 1. The year-end champion will receive a $100,000 bonus courtesy of Stanford Financial Group, the official rankings sponsor of the Outback Champions Series.
Tenacity is one of the premier youth development programs in the City of Boston offering both after-school and summer programming that combines tennis, literacy and life skills to help youth develop the skills and self-confidence they need to succeed in life. Tenacity’s After-School Excellence Program currently partners with eight middle schools in Boston to provide intensive after-school services for 180 students. The Summer Tennis & Reading Program operates at 28 neighborhood sites throughout the city and more than 3,600 Boston youth participate.
“We are excited at the opportunity to once again work with Jim Courier and all of the players during Champions Cup Boston,” said Ned Eames, President and Founder of Tenacity. “In today’s current economic climate, it is essential for us to have people like Jim who want to help our cause. We look forward to watching this amazing group of tennis stars compete in the tournament and exhibition matches.”
Champions Cup Boston is sponsored by Outback Steakhouse, Stanford Financial Group, Staples, ASG, Talon Air, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Taj Hotel, NESN and Greater Media.
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 corporate outings, 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.