Courier's Company Launches Champions Cup Series In The States
By Tennis Week
Thirteen years after Jimmy Connors launched the Champions Tour another former American No. 1, Jim Courier, announced his plan to revive the senior circuit in the United States. Hall of Famer Courier and his company, InsideOut Sports and Entertainment, today announced the launch of the Champions Cup Series — a collection of four tennis events in the United States featuring the top names in tennis over the age of 30.
It may prove to be the first step in eventually reuniting the greatest generation of American players — Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Courier, Michael Chang and Todd Martin — back on court.
The Champions Cup Series will mark the first cohesive series of events for champion tennis players in the United States since 2001.
The venture is independent of the European-based Delta Tour of Champions, but will feature many of the same senior players.
The Champions Cup Series in 2006 will consist of four events:
Champions Cup Naples Naples, Fla., March 9-12th
Champions Cup Boston Boston, Mass., April 27-30th
Stanford Financial Champions Cup Memphis Memphis, Tenn. October 5-8th
Stanford Financial Champions Cup Houston Houston, Texas November 9-12th
In addition to running administrative duties of the series with InsideOut, Courier will compete in events along with contemporaries Michael Chang
, the 1989 French Open champion, and Todd Martin
, the 1999 US Open finalist, as well as former No. 1 players John McEnroe
and Mats Wilander
, former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash
, former U.S. Davis Cup star Aaron Krickstein
and former French Open finalist Mikael Pernfors
among others. Sampras has said in recent interviews he will probably play senior tournaments at some point. The 35-year-old Agassi is still a force on the ATP Tour and retains his prominent place as one of the most popular players in Open Era history. Renewing the rivalries between Agassi, Sampras, Courier and Chang in a North American senior circuit would almost certainly command public interest, but reuniting the Fab Four of American tennis may be a few years away, which is one reason why the Champions Cup Series will launch with four events in traditionally tennis-friendly cities.
In order to be eligible to compete on the Champions Cup Series, players must have reached at least a Grand Slam singles final, been ranked in the top five in the world or played singles on a winning Davis Cup team.
"We are excited to launch the Champions Cup Series and unveil another high quality tennis property in United States," said Courier. "The players associated with the Champions Cup Series are all thrilled to finally have a competitive forum in the United States where we can to show off our talents and continue to do what we do best — play high quality competitive tennis.”"
The inaugural Champions Cup Series event — the 2005 Stanford Financial Cup Houston — will begin this Thursday, November 10th and run through Sunday, November 13th at the West Side Tennis Club in Houston, Texas. All four days of competition will be broadcast live on The Tennis Channel and rebroadcast on InDemand. The field is comprised of Courier, McEnroe, Wilander, Krickstein, Martin, Pernfors, former world No. 1 Thomas Muster and former world No. 2 Goran Ivanisevic.
All Champions Cup Series events will feature eight-man round-robin match formats with the winners of the two four-player divisions meet in the championship match while second place finishers in each division meet in a third place match. All matches will be feature a 10-point "Super Tie-Break" in lieu of a third-set if the first two sets are split in any given match. Events in 2006 will be broadcast on a combination of Regional Sports Nets, The Tennis Channel and InDemand.
InsideOut Sports & Entertainment is an independent producer of proprietary events and promotions. In 2005, the New York based company has produced Serving for Tsunami Relief at the Toyota Center in Houston, the Grand Slam Jam at the Erwin Center in Austin, Texas, the Mercedes-Benz Classic II at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, and the Mercedes-Benz Classic at the Office Depot Center in Sunrise, Fla., and Legendary Nights-Ottawa at the Corel Centre in Ottawa, Canada. For more information, please log on to www.insideoutlive.com