SURPRISE, Ariz., Oct. 24, 2010 – Mark Philippoussis defeated Jim Courier 6-4, 6-1 Sunday to win the singles title at the $150,000 Cancer Treatment Centers of America Tennis Championships at the Surprise Recreation Campus. Philippoussis picked up a first-prize paycheck of $54,000 and his second career singles title on the Champions Series, the global tennis circuit for champion tennis players age 30 and over.
Philippoussis reached his first career Champions Series final earlier this year when he posted a runner-up showing in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in March, losing to Fernando Meligeni. He then won his first career Champions Series title in May, defeating John McEnroe in the final of the Staples Champions Cup in Boston, Mass. He said following his victory Sunday over Courier that his goal is to return to play matches again on the ATP World Tour.
"I’ve just fallen back in love with the sport on the Champions Series," said Philippoussis, who will turn 34 on November 7. "It’s just great and since I’ve gotten that love back, my body has been getting stronger. I feel I can hit the ball just as hard as the guys on the tour, so why not give it a go if I’m having this much fun?"
Courier agreed that the Australian’s game was positioned for return ATP-level appearances.
"When Mark plays well and he plays that first strike tennis, he can play with anybody," said Courier. "The question is can his body hold up to the rigors of the tour on a day-to-day basis. All of us who are in this sport can appreciate the racquet skills he brings to the table."
Philippoussis last played on the ATP World Tour in 2006 and first played on the Champions Series in 2007 after recovering from right knee surgery. During his multi-year rehabilitations through his career, he has undergone six knee surgeries - three on the right knee and three on the left – but this year, he is finally beginning to feel at full strength.
Against Courier, Philippoussis fought off two break points with aces at 4-4 in the first set and never looked back from there. He broke Courier’s serve in the next game to secure the first set and dominated the second set, consistently blasting aces and forehand winners passed the two-time French and Australian Open champion.
"My first serve was great, but my second serve was the best this week by far I thought," said Philippoussis, a singles finalist at the US Open in 1998 and at Wimbledon in 2003. "I knew (Courier) was going to come in at my second serve, so I knew it had to be good and it was."
Said Courier, "I needed a stepladder because his second serves were so high. From the first second serve he hit I was lunging and trying to climb up the ladder to get the ball. Credit to Mark, he won this match and I didn’t lose it."
Philippoussis acknowledged that some recent practice sessions with U.S. No. 1 Andy Roddick in Southern California helped him play at a high-level. "Roddick came to San Diego, where I live," he said. "I hit with him while he was down there at La Jolla Beach & Racquet Club."
The 40-year-old Courier, who was appearing in his 15th career Champions Series event, earned a runner-up paycheck of $32,000.
In Sunday’s third-place match, Michael Chang edged John McEnroe 7-6 (6), 7-6 (6).
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________SEO Australiaair cards for laptops