Andy Roddick fought off the inspired play from hometown favorite Jim Courier to win the Champions Showdown Orlando Thursday night with a 6-4 decision in the one-set championship match.
In the first ever tennis event at the Amway Center, the home of the NBA’s Orlando Magic, Roddick won his fourth PowerShares Series title of the year and his 14th since he joined the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30 in 2014.
Courier, playing in front of family and friends in his hometown, was looking to beat Roddick for the first time in his career, losing all four previous matches against his former Davis Cup pupil. He broke Roddick’s serve in the third game of the match and led 4-2 and seemed in control to win his first PowerShares Series title since Oklahoma City in 2014. However, Roddick broke back in the eighth game of the set, capped by hitting a skidding, acutely-angled cross-court slice backhand passing shot, just out of Courier’s reach. With some spectacular serves and forehands, Roddick held for 5-4, then benefitted from three Courier unforced errors in the next game to break serve and close out the match.
“He came out really well, I wasn’t ready for it. I think he’s been doing push-ups or something,” quipped Roddick of Courier’s fast start.
“He came out strong tonight,” continued Roddick. “I was expecting to get in a rhythm early, put some balls in the court, but he was having none of that. He took the ball on the rise and came in strong early and I had to adjust at the end. I was fortunate.”
While Roddick relied on his big serve and heavy rocket forehand to win points, he also remained steady and won many points with numerous knifed backhand slices.
“When you can’t get the ball any more, you slice more often,” said Roddick of his backhand slice. “It’s probably improved since I stopped playing (on the ATP World Tour). It’s a virtue of me being slow now.”
Roddick advanced into the final with a 6-3 win over James Blake in the semifinals while Courier beat John McEnroe 7-5 in the other semifinal. Earlier this year, Roddick won titles in Thousand Oaks, Calif., St. Louis and Charleston, S.C.
In between the two singles semifinals, top pro golfer Henrik Stenson, the winner of the 2016 Open Championship, participated in the PowerShares “Target Challenge” along with fellow golf pro Steve Stricker and former ATP pro Robert Kendrick, a resident of Orlando.
Each PowerShares Series event features two one-set semifinal matches and a one-set championship match and, for the second straight year, players make their own line calls with assistance of electronic line-calling.
The final event for the 2016 PowerShares Series season will be played Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn featuring McEnroe, Courier, Roddick and Blake. Ticket and schedule information can be found at www.PowerSharesSeries.com
In 2015, Andy Roddick won the PowerShares Series points title in his second year of competing on the series with 1,600 points. Roddick won a record eight events Los Angeles, Lincoln, Chicago, Austin, Little Rock, Dallas, Richmond and Minneapolis. Blake finished second in the points rankings with 1,200 points, winning events in Boston and Cincinnati. Mark Philippoussis finished in third with 1,100 points, winning titles in Salt Lake City and Vancouver. The year before in 2014, McEnroe won the points title for the first time in the nine-year history of Champions Series tennis by winning events in Kansas City, Indianapolis, Nashville and Charlotte.
ABOUT INSIDEOUT SPORTS + ENTERTAINMENT
InsideOut Sports + Entertainment is a Los Angeles based 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 Champions Series, a collection of tournaments featuring the greatest names in tennis over the age of 30. In addition, InsideOut produces many other successful events including “Legendary Night” exhibitions, The World Series of Beach Volleyball and numerous corporate outings. Since inception, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment has raised over $4 million for charity. In 2014, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment merged with Horizon Media, the largest privately held media services agency in the world. For more information, please log on to www.InsideOutSE.com or www.powersharesseries.com or follow on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
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Horizon Media, Inc. is the largest and fastest growing privately held media services agency in the world. The company was founded in 1989, is headquartered in New York and has offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Chicago. Horizon Media was chosen as 2011 Independent Media Agency of the Year by Mediapost, 2010 U.S. Media Agency of the Year by Adweek, Brandweek, and Mediaweek as well as by Ad Age and as one of the world’s ten most innovative marketing and advertising companies by Fast Company in 2011. In 2012, Bill Koenigsberg, President, CEO and Founder, was honored by Advertising Age as Industry Executive of the Year. Most recently, in 2014, Bill Koenigsberg was named 4As Chair of the Board and is the first person from a media agency to hold this prestigious position in the 100 year history of the 4As, the marketing industry’s leading trade association. The company’s mission is “To create the most meaningful brand connections within the lives of people everywhere.” By delivering on this mission through a holistic approach to brand marketing, Horizon Media has become one of the largest and fastest-growing media agencies in the industry, with estimated billings of over $5.3 billion and over 1,200 employees. The company is also a founding member of Columbus Media International, a multi-national partnership of independent media agencies. For more information, please visit horizonmedia.com.
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Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC is leading the Intelligent ETF Revolution® through its lineup of more than 140 domestic and international exchange-traded funds, which seek to outperform traditional benchmark indexes while providing advisors and investors access to an innovative array of focused investment opportunities. With franchise assets of nearly $100 billion as of October 2, 2015, PowerShares ETFs trade on both US stock exchanges. For more information, please visit us at invescopowershares.com or follow us on Twitter @PowerShares.
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PowerShares QQQ™, an exchange-traded fund (ETF) based on the NASDAQ-100 Index®, is one of the largest and most traded ETFs in the world. Under most circumstances, QQQ will consist of all of the stocks in the index which includes 100 of the largest domestic and international nonfinancial companies listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market based on market capitalization.