LOS ANGELES – The Champions Series tennis circuit will resume its 2020 season Thursday and Friday, August 13 – 14 with three events held at the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California.
The events are closed to the public but will follow strict Covid-19 safety protocol and will be broadcast on Fox Sports Net, Comcast Sports Net and Tennis Channel. Geckos from Champions Series sponsor GEICO will be placed in seats, in addition to their traditional placement as “virtual linespeople”.
On Thursday, August 13, the Sherwood Country Club will host two editions of the SoCal Honda Dealer’s Helpful Cup. The morning tournament starting at 10:30 am will feature 2005 U.S. Open semifinalist Robby Ginepri playing 1992 Olympic doubles silver medalist and long-time top 10 star Wayne Ferreira in the first one-set semifinal followed by U.S. Davis Cup captain and 2004 Olympic silver medalist Mardy Fish taking on 2000 Olympic silver medalist Tommy Haas in the other semifinal. The winners of both semifinals will the play in a one-set championship match.
Haas, Ferreira and Ginepri will then return to the court at 3 pm to play in the second edition of the event and will be joined by former world No. 4 James Blake. Ferreira will face Blake in the opening semifinal followed by Ginepri vs. Haas, followed by the championship match.
On Friday, August 14, Sherwood will then host the Raymond James Champions Cup starting at 11 am with Blake facing Haas in the first semifinal, followed by Ginepri vs. Fish and then the singles final.
Prior to the global pandemic, Ginepri won the only completed Champions Series Tennis event staged in 2020 winning his first career Champions Series title defeating Andy Roddick and Blake in succession to win the Oracle Champions Cup Presented by RBC Wealth Management in front of a standing room only crowd at the Newport Beach Tennis Club. It marked the fourth career tournament appearance for Ginepri on the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30.
Ferreira, the former world No 6 and two-time Australian Open semifinalist, will be making his first appearance on the Champions Series circuit since 2009.
Last year, Haas, the former world No. 2, finished with a perfect 10-0 record to win the year-long points championship. He won titles in Newport Beach, CA, Maui, HI, New Haven, CT, Los Angeles, CA and Houston, TX to become the first player in the 15-year history of the Champions Series to be an undefeated year-end points champion.
In 2018, Blake won his first Champions Series year-long points championship by winning titles in Winston-Salem, New Haven and Houston, while also finishing as runner-up in Los Angeles and Orlando.
In 2017, the year-long points championship was decided in the final match of the season when Andy Roddick defeated James Blake in the Los Angeles final at the Sherwood Country Club. Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion and world No. 1, won four Champions Series titles in all in 2017, winning in Birmingham, Ala., Chicago, Lincoln, Neb., and Los Angeles. Blake, the former world No. 4 and former U.S. Davis Cup star, won series titles in Charleston, S.C., Winston-Salem, N.C. and in Lynchburg, Va.
In 2016, Mark Philippoussis won the Series points title with 1,600 points and tournament titles in Memphis, Tulsa, Newport, Winston-Salem and New Haven. Roddick finished in second place, also earning 1600 points but losing the head-to-head tiebreaker with Philippoussis 5-2, while winning titles in Charleston, St. Louis, Los Angeles and Orlando.
Champions Series tennis began in 2005 and has featured 16 former world #1 players including many of the greatest legends in the sport such as Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lendl, Stefan Edberg and Jim Courier.