Written by The Blackrock Tour of Champions
April 26th, 2008
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STICH TO MEET RIOS IN BARCELONA FINAL
Michael Stich will meet Marcelo Rios in the final of the BlackRock Tour of Champions event in Barcelona on Sunday.
Stich, who scored an impressive win over Albert Costa a day earlier, dispatched Henri Leconte 6-3, 6-4 to book his place in the final.
Rios received a walkover against the injured Sergi Bruguera, but kept his eye in by beating current ATP world No.129 Alberto Martin 7-6 in an exhibition match.
“It’s going to be tough against Stich because he plays a totally different style to everyone else,” said Rios. “He’s an offensive player who will try to get into the net but it is on clay, which will help me.”
Stich plans to rely on the variety of shots that he used to subdue Costa on Friday.
“It’s nice to be in the final,” said Stich, who won Wimbledon in 1991.
“Against me, Marcelo is going to have a tough time to play the same shot two times in a row because I don’t plan to let him have any rhythm. He’s younger, and the better player on clay so he will be the favourite, but I think I’m going to give him a hard time.”
Yesterday, Stich had spoken of his desire to see Roger Federer employ the same variety of spins and paces against Rafael Nadal in the Monte Carlo final on Sunday that the German will use against Rios.
“It could work for Roger against Nadal,” said Stich.
“It didn’t work out for him the last couple of times the way he played Nadal in the French Open finals because he always started well with a lot of variety but then after the first set he let it go and thought he could beat Nadal from the baseline. That, I think, he can not do, not over the best of five sets. But, if he keeps up the variety he has a real chance because he has all the shots. You have to be open-minded enough to try it and the Monte Carlo final would be a good chance for him to try it out.”
In the day’s other matches, Cedric Pioline defeated Carl Uwe Steeb 6-1, 6-4. Pioline will play Costa in the 3rd/4th place play-off after Costa overcame Magnus Larsson 7-6, 6-4.
After Barcelona, the BlackRock Tour of Champions will move onto 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.
The Tour opened in Belfast in February with Anders Jarryd successfully defending his title.
GROUP STANDINGS (after day three)
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) through on superior games percentage
Albert Costa 2-1 (4-2)
Magnus Larsson 2-1 (4-3)
Henri Leconte 0-3 (1-6)
Sunday 27th April 2008
13.00 3rd VS 4th Play Off – Cedric Pioline vs. Albert Costa
Followed by Final – Marcelo Rios vs. Michael Stich
BLACKROCK TOUR OF CHAMPIONS ELIGIBILITY RULES
To be eligible to compete on the BlackRock Tour of Champions, players must have been either:
a World No.1 during their competitive playing careers
a Grand Slam singles finalist or champion
a singles player on a victorious Davis Cup team
Voted onto the Special Exempt list by the BlackRock Tour of Champions Board.
All players must also have been retired from ATP competition for at least two years.
Each event can also offer two wild cards.
Matches are played over the best of three sets with the third set taking the form of a first-to-ten-point Champions’ Tie-Break. Tournaments are played using a round-robin format with the top two players in each group meeting in the final.
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)
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)
SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS 2008 TOUR OF CHAMPIONS RANKINGS
POS. PLAYER PTS
1. Anders Jarryd 400
2. Mikael Pernfors 250
3. Chris Wilkinson (WC) 200
4. Jeremy Bates (WC) 125
5. John McEnroe 80
6. Pat Cash 80
7. Bjorn Borg 60
8. Henri Leconte 60
WC denotes Wild Card.
BlackRock is a premier provider of global investment management, riskmanagement and advisory services to clients around the world. The rebrand from the Merrill Lynch Tour of Champions to the new BlackRock Tour of Champions,
stemmed from the merger between BlackRock and Merrill Lynch Investment Managers on the 29th September 2006. This merger united the predominantly US fixed income institutional heritage of BlackRock with that of Merrill Lynch
Investment Managers’ award-winning global retail equity franchise.
BlackRock is one of the world’s largest publicly traded investment management firms. At December 31, 2007, BlackRock’s assets under management (AUM) was US$1.357 trillion. The firm manages assets on behalf of institutions and individuals worldwide through a variety of equity, fixed income, cash management and alternative investment products. In addition, a growing number of institutional investors use BlackRock Solutions(r) investment system, risk management and financial advisory services. Headquartered in New York City, as of December 31, 2007, the firm has approximately 5,500 employees in 19 countries and a major presence in key global markets, including the U.S., Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. For additional information, please visit the Company’s website at www.blackrock.com.
South Africa’s international flagship airline and the continent’s most awarded carrier, South African Airways is the official airline of the BlackRock Tour of Champions. Its modern fleet features a comfortable Economy Class cabin recently reconfigured for extra legroom and a Premium Business Class cabin featuring the airline’s award-winning, lie-flat seat. Complimentary South African wines, inspired cuisine and personal on-demand entertainment for all travellers make the trip to Africa fly by. Built on a venerable 72-year history of bringing the world to Africa and taking Africa to the world, the airline’s network is unsurpassed on the continent – connecting travellers to more than 20 destinations within South Africa and more than 20 cities across Africa. As a recent member to the worldwide Star Alliance, South African Airways is now able to offer its customers 852 destinations in 152 countries and more than 15,500 flights daily.
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Written by The Blackrock Tour of Champions