Courier Wins PowerShares Atlanta Title, Rises To No. 1

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Jim Courier and John McEnroe played their second close final in a row in the PowerShares Series with Courier prevailing once again. Courier won the Champions Shootout title in Atlanta, Georgia.

The four-man field in Atlanta featured Courier and McEnroe along with Michael Chang and Mats Wilander.

Courier took on Chang in the first semifinal of the evening and it was Courier who came out firing on all sides to break Chang early on. Courier served for the set at 5-2, but was broken by Chang who saved a set point with a swinging volley from mid-court. But Courier responded by breaking Change right back to close out the set 6-3.

The second semifinal featured John McEnroe and Mats Wilander in a rematch of some of their classic Davis Cup battles. A slightly subdued McEnroe got off to a scratchy start allowing Wilander to jump out to a 2-0 lead. But when McEnroe started finding the range on his returns to set up volley winners up at net, he seized the momentum and took the set 6-3.

That set up yet another final between Courier and McEnroe who battled each other in the finals of Tampa the night before with Courier edging out a win. The Atlanta final proved to be yet another close contest with neither man giving in from the baseline or on serve. At 6-all in the eight-game pro set, Courier was pushed to six deuces in his service game before finally holding serve with a forehand pass winner.

McEnroe, though serving to force a tiebreak, ended up facing two match points against him instead. He saved the first with an ace, but on the second match point Courier hit a final forehand winner to seal a 8-6 victory.

Courier, by winning back to back titles in Tampa and Atlanta, now passes McEnroe for the top spot in the PowerShares Series rankings.

“It’s always special to win and it’s nice to take over the top spot, but we have plenty more ahead of us on this tour,” said Courier. “Andre is going to be coming on strong to compete in these last four events, and John’s been so consistent all season long. So I expect an uphill battle to try and finish in the top spot but it was great to be back on top in Atlanta.”

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 San Jose, California on November 16th and will feature Courier and McEnroe as well as Andre Agassi and Todd Martin.

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