Just four days after presiding over the final day of the Miami Open tennis championships as the event’s tournament director, James Blake quickly made the transition from tennis administrator to tennis player.
Blake defeated Jim Courier 6-3 in the one-set final Thursday to win the ADT Champions Classic at the Innisbrook Resort, the second of ten events on the 2019 Invesco Series QQQ tennis circuit. The win was the 14th career title for Blake on the Invesco Series, the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30. Blake joined the circuit in 2014, just five months after retiring from the ATP Tour at the 2013 U.S. Open.
Blake, 39, is coming off his second year as the tournament director for the Miami Open, one of the biggest events in tennis played for the first time this year in Hard Rock Stadium. After presiding over the men’s final trophy ceremony featuring the champion Roger Federer and the runner-up John Isner, Blake traveled 300 miles north to the Innisbrook Resort just north of Tampa to resume another of this professions as a competitor on the Invesco Series. The former world No. 4 and member of the 2007 winning U.S. Davis Cup team is coming off his most successful season of champions tennis having won the year-long points championship last season, capturing titles in Winston-Salem, New Haven and Houston, while also finishing as the runner-up in Los Angeles and Orlando.
Courier, 48, was playing in his first Invesco Series event of 2019, his 14th career season on the champions tennis tour he co-founded in 2005. The former two-time French and Australian Open champion was playing just 50 miles from his childhood home of Dade City, Florida and on the 20th anniversary of perhaps his most famous Davis Cup match victory, defeating Greg Rusedski 8-6 in the fifth set to clinch the U.S. 3-2 win over Great Britain in Birmingham, England in the final year of his Hall of Fame career.
En route to the final at Innisbrook, Blake defeated his good friend and U.S. Davis Cup captain Mardy Fish 6-3 while Courier defeated 60-year-old John McEnroe 7-6 (4).
The Invesco Series QQQ circuit continues Saturday in Charleston, S.C. at the Volvo Car Open with Courier, Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt and Mats Wilander in the field. Tommy Haas kicked off the 2019 Invesco Series QQQ circuit in January by defeating Roddick 7-6 (2) in the title match at the Oracle Champions Cup in Newport Beach, California.
The remaining 2019 Invesco Series QQQ schedule is as follows:
Charleston, SC –April 6 (Volvo Car Open): Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt, Jim Courier, Mats Wilander
Maui, HI – May 5 (Royal Lahaina Resort): John McEnroe, Mardy Fish, Tommy Haas, Michael Chang
Newport, RI – July 21 (International Tennis Hall of Fame): Todd Martin, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Jim Courier, Mats Wilander
Boston, MA – September 7 (Venue and Players TBA)
Toronto, ON – September 26 (Mattamy Athletic Centre): Players TBA
Orlando, FL – Date and Venue TBA: Players TBA
Los Angeles, CA – Date and Venue TBA: Players TBA
Austin, TX – November 15: Venue and Players TBA
In 2018, Blake won his first Invesco Series QQQ year-long points championship by winning titles in Winston-Salem, New Haven and Houston, while also finishing as runner-up in Los Angeles and Orlando.
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 $5 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.com or follow on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
ABOUT HORIZON MEDIA
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, pleasevisithorizonmedia.com.
Invesco Ltd. is an independent investment management firm dedicated to delivering an investment experience that helps people get more out of life. NYSE: IVZ; Invesco.com, Invesco Distributors, Inc. is the US distributor for Invesco Ltd. and is a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Invesco Ltd.”