James Blake edged John McEnroe 7-6(3) Friday night in an electric one-set final at the Camden Wealth Advisors Champions Cup in front of an raucous standing-room-only crowd of 4,500 at the Tudor Fieldhouse on the campus of Rice University in Houston.
The tournament victory is the third title for Blake this year on the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30 and moves him into the No. 1 position in the year-long points standings ahead of Tommy Haas, who won titles earlier this year in Charleston and Hawaii. In August, Blake won back-to-back titles in Winston-Salem, N.C. and New Haven, Conn.
The 38-year-old Blake broke the 59-year-old McEnroe in the opening game of the final, but was unable to serve out the match at 5-4 as McEnroe was able to save four match points before tying the score at 5-5 on a Blake double-fault. Blake’s forehand proved too much for McEnroe in the later stages of the match as Blake was able to hold on to win his 13th career Invesco Series QQQ title.
“I know everyone loves John McEnroe. I love John McEnroe and I want to cheer for him too, but not when he is playing against me,” said Blake, the former world No. 4, in New Haven earlier this year after beating McEnroe in the final.
In the semifinals earlier in the evening, Blake beat former U.S. Davis Cup teammate Andy Roddick 7-6(4) while McEnroe avenged his loss to Jim Courier from the previous night in St. Louis with a 6-3 decision.
The Camden Wealth Advisors Champions Cup was held nearly 13 years to the week of when the Invesco Series QQQ circuit began in Houston across town at the Westside Tennis Club in 2005 with Courier winning the inaugural tournament.
The Invesco Series QQQ continues Sunday, October 21 at the Sherwood Country Club outside of Los Angeles featuring Andy Roddick, James Blake, Tommy Haas and Mardy Fish. The remaining schedule, with player fields, is as follows
The remaining 2018 Invesco Series QQQ schedule is as follows:
October 21: Los Angeles, CA (Sherwood Country Club) – Andy Roddick, James Blake, Tommy Haas, and Mardy Fish
December 6: Orlando, FL (USTA National Campus) – Jim Courier, Andy Roddick, James Blake and Mardy Fish
2018 Invesco Series QQQ Results
April 7: Charleston, SC (Family Circle Tennis Center) F: Tommy Haas def. Andy Roddick 6-1; SF: Tommy Haas def. Michael Chang 6-2; Andy Roddick def. Mark Philippoussis 6-3
May 5, 6: Kohala Coast, HI (Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows) F: Tommy Haas def. John McEnroe 7-5 SF: Tommy Haas def. Mardy Fish 6-3, John McEnroe def.Jim Courier 6-3
May 17: Toronto, ON (Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre) F: Mark Philippoussis d. John McEnroe 7-5, SF: Mark Philippoussis d. James Blake 7-6 (5); John McEnroe d. Jim Courier 6-2.
July 22: Newport, RI (International Tennis Hall of Fame) F: Lleyton Hewitt d. Tommy Haas 7-6(2) SF: Lleyton Hewitt d. James Blake 6-3; Tommy Haas d. Jim Courier 6-3
August 19: Winston-Salem, NC (Wake Forest University) F: James Blake d. Andy Roddick 6-1 SF: Andy Roddick d. Robby Ginepri 7-6 (4); James Blake d. Michael Chang 6-3
August 23/24: New Haven, CT (Yale University) F: James Blake d. John McEnroe 6-4 SF: John McEnroe d. Todd Martin 6-3, James Blake d. Tommy Haas 6-4
October 4: St. Louis, MO (Chaifetz Arena) F: Mark Philippoussis d. Jim Courier 6-1; SF: Jim Courier d. John McEnroe 7-6(3), Mark Philippoussis d. Andy Roddick 6-3
October 5: Houston, TX (Tudor Fieldhouse) F: James Blake d. John McEnroe 7-6(3) SF: John McEnroe d. Jim Courier 6-3, James Blake d. Andy Roddick 7-6 (4)
Each Invesco Series QQQ event features special VIP experiences, including hit-with-the-pros opportunities and special back-stage access. All ticket, experience and event information can be found at www.InvescoSeries.com
In 2017, the year-long points championship was decided in the final match of the season when Andy Roddick defeated James Blake in the Los Angeles final at the Sherwood Country Club. Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion and world No. 1, won four Invesco Series QQQ titles in all in 2017, winning in Birmingham, Ala., Chicago, Lincoln, Neb., and Los Angeles. Blake, the former world No. 4 and former U.S. Davis Cup star, won series titles in Charleston, S.C., Winston-Salem, N.C. and in Lynchburg, Va.
In 2016, Mark Philippoussis won the Series points title with 1600 points and tournament titles in Memphis, Tulsa, Newport, Winston-Salem and New Haven. Roddick finished in second place, also earning 1600 points but losing the head-to-head tiebreaker with Philippoussis 5-2, while winning titles in Charleston, St. Louis, Los Angeles and Orlando. Blake finished in third place with 1100 points and tournament titles in
Chicago, Portland and Brooklyn.
In 2015, Roddick won the 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. 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 Invesco Series QQQ 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 InvescoSeries.comor follow on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
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