The season might be over, but we’re still seeing trophies here and there…
Dutchman Paul Haarhuis took out tennis impresario Jim Courier 6-1, 6-4 in the finals of the The Legends Rock Dubai Championships on Saturday. This is the final stop of the year for Courier’s seniors tour, the Outback Champions Series.
A pic of Haarhuis (and details of the Dubai tourney) after the cut…
HAARHUIS BEATS COURIER FOR DUBAI TITLE
In Outback Champions Series Debut, Haarhuis Wins 2007 Series Finale
Courier Finishes No. 2 In Stanford Champions Rankings Behind Points Champion Todd Martin
DUBAI, U.A.E, Nov. 24, 2007 – Paul Haarhuis of the Netherlands defeated Jim Courier of the United States 6-1, 6-4 to win the singles title at the $180,000 The Legends Rock Dubai Championships Saturday at the Dubai Tennis Stadium at The Aviation Club. Haarhuis collected a first-prize paycheck of $50,000 in his first-ever event on the Outback Champions Series, a collection of tennis events around the world featuring the greatest names in tennis over the age of 30.
Haarhuis, a former world No. 1 doubles player and quarterfinalist in singles at the 1991 US Open, credited his fast start to his final-round victory under the lights in Dubai.
“The first set was a bit easier than I thought although the first four games were quite close,” said the 41-year-old Haarhuis, a wild-card entry into the event. “I think I played my best tennis today. I returned well and served well so it felt good. It’s a nice feeling to come here for the first time and to win the final. I am very happy with that and hope that I can come back to defend my title.”
Said the 37-year-old Courier, “Congratulations to Paul. He played beautifully and beat me left, right and center. He was playing aggressive tennis and making no mistakes. He just had all the answers tonight and played fantastically.”
Courier earned $40,000 for his runner-up showing as well as 350 Stanford Champions Rankings points. Courier’s point total in Dubai allowed him to move from No. 4 to No. 2 in the Stanford Champions Rankings, surpassing Wayne Ferreira of South Africa and Pete Sampras of the United States in the final rankings. Todd Martin finished as the 2007 Stanford Champions Rankings Champion, paced by his tournament victory in Newport, R.I. and runner-up showings in Boston, Athens, Greece, and Charlotte. Haarhuis earned 650
points for winning the Dubai title. (see final 2007 Stanford Champions Rankings below)
Courier was seeking his first Outback Champions Series title since winning in Charlotte in September of 2006, and his fourth career title on the U.S.-based champions’ circuit. The two-time French and Australian Open champion was competing in his second consecutive tournament final on the Series after playing the final of the Stanford Championships in Dallas, Texas last month, losing to Ferreira.
In Saturday’s third-place match, Thomas Muster of Austria defeated Michael Stich of Germany 6-4, 6-4.
Said Muster, “It was a very tough match to be behind and then to come back. Michael’s serve is usually really hot but he wasn’t serving as well as usual so that gave me a chance … I had a pretty good performance, probably the best match I’ve played all week … I’m very happy to finish third here in Dubai. The crowd here has been great, cheering us on over the last few days.”
Said Stich, “My shoulder was really sore so my serving was not very good again and the ball was moving really fast. It was really flying so against a guy like Thomas, who is really quick, that wasn’t helping.”
The Legends Rock Dubai is the second international event on the U.S.-based Outback Champions Series, joining the Athens Champions Cup held in Athens, Greece last May. The event is a traditional single-elimination tournament rather than the traditional round-robin format featured in other Outback Champions Series events. The players competed for $180,000 in total prize money, including a $50,000 first prize paycheck for the champion.
The 2007 Outback Champions Series kicked off March 7-11 in Naples, Fla.., at The Oliver Group Champions Cup where Wayne Ferreira of South Africa defeated Aaron Krickstein in the final. Pete Sampras returned to tournament tennis for the first time since the 2002 US Open at the Champions Cup – Boston and won the title, defeating Todd Martin in the final. Sampras also won the
third event on the 2007 Outback Champions Series, the Champions Cup – thens, in his first ever visit to Greece, the homeland of his father Sam and mother Georgia. Todd Martin won the Gibson Guitar Champions Cup in August in Newport, R.I., defeating John McEnroe in the final. Sampras won The Championships at The Palisades – in Charlotte, N.C., in September, defeating Martin in the final. Ferreira won his second Outback Champions Series event in Dallas in October, defeating Courier in the final of the Stanford Championships.
Founded in 2005, the Outback Champions Series features seven events where champion tennis players continue to exercise their competitive instincts in tournament formats that feature prize money and Champions Series ranking points that determine a year-end No. 1 player. To be eligible to compete on the Outback Champions Series, players must have either reached a Grand Slam singles final, been ranked in the top five in the world or played singles on a championship Davis Cup team. Each event also has the right to choose “wild card” entrants.
InsideOut Sports & Entertainment is a New York City-based independent 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 2006, InsideOut launched its signature property, the Outback Champions Series, a collection of tennis events featuring the greatest names in tennis over the age of 30. In addition, InsideOut produces many other successful events including one-night “Legendary Night” exhibitions as well as charity events and tennis fantasy camps, including the annual Ultimate Fantasy Camp. For more information, please log on to http://www.InsideOutse.com or http://www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com
FINAL 2007 STANFORD CHAMPIONS RANKINGS
1. Todd Martin – United States 2800 points
2. Jim Courier – United States 2450 points
3. Pete Sampras – United States 2400 points
4. Wayne Ferreira – South Africa 2350 points
5. John McEnroe – United States 1700 points
6. Pat Cash – Australia 1200 points
7. Aaron Krickstein – United States 800 points
8. Paul Haarhuis – Netherlands 650 points
9. Petr Korda – Czech Repbulic 500 points
9. Mikael Pernfors – Sweden 500 points
11. Richard Krajicek – Netherlands 400 points
11. Magnus Larsson – Sweden 400 points
13. Mark Philippoussis – Australia 350 points
14. Cedric Pioline – France 300 points
14. Anders Jarryd – Sweden 300 points
16. Thomas Muster – Austria 275 points
17. Michael Stich – Germany 200 points
17. Jimmy Arias – United States 200 points
17. MaliVai Washington – United States 200 points
17. Mats Wilander – Sweden 200 points
21. Tim Mayotte – United States 100 points
21. Mansour Bahrami – Iran 100 points