Playing in front of a hometown crowd in his native Florida at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, Jim Courier came from behind to defeat John McEnroe and win his second PowerShares Series title of the season.
The Champions Challenge event was held in Tampa Bay, Florida and featured Courier, McEnroe along with Michael Chang and Mats Wilander. The night’s first semi saw Courier take on Wilander in a close contest that was finally decided when Courier broke Wilander’s serve midway through the set and then went on to serve out the match 6-3.
McEnroe faced off against Chang in a highly entertaining semifinal that saw McEnroe hold match point at 5-4 only to see Chang battle back and force a tiebreak. Despite Chang delighting the crowd with a tweener shot that led to him winning the point, McEnroe held on to take the breaker 7-3.
The finals between Courier and McEnroe saw Courier come back from a 1-5 deficit to eventually edge out McEnroe 8-7(2).
“It feels really good to come back home and play so well in front of all of my family and friends here in Tampa,” said Courier later on the PowerShares Series site. “I got into a pretty deep hole there against John, but I dug deep and found a way to claw back into the match, and some things went right for me in the end. I hope we were able to provide a great night of entertainment for these fans that have always supported me throughout my career.”
With the win, Courier is now tied for second with Pete Sampras in the overall season rankings while McEnroe is still ranked on top after last night’s event. Five events remain in the 12 event season schedule.
Players compete for points throughout the series with a $1 million dollars of bonus pool money up for grabs for those that finish in the top three at the end of the season.
The next event will be in Atlanta, Georgia on November 10th and will once again feature Chang, Courier, McEnroe and Wilander.