ORLANDO – Robby Ginepri closed out the 2020 Champions Series Tennis season just as began it – with a tournament victory. The 2005 U.S. Open semifinalist defeated Tommy Haas 6-4 in the one-set championship match at the Bea For Kids Champions Challenge presented by Raymond James at the Heathrow Country Club, the final event for 2020 on the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30.
In February prior to the start of the global pandemic, Ginepri won his first career Champions Series title by defeating Andy Roddick and James 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. Ginepri followed that win up by also winning the SoCal Honda Dealers Helpful Cup in Thousand Oaks, California in August, defeating Wayne Ferreira in the final before beating Haas in Orlando for this third career Champions Series Tennis title.
“Starting and finishing the year with wins has a nice ring to it,” said Ginepri. “Now if I can tighten everything up in between, we will be OK.”
Ginepri’s win over Haas was the third of three editions of the event played inside a bubble at the Heathrow Country Club and avenged his loss to the former world No. 2 from Germany in the finals of the previous two events. Haas beat Ginepri 6-2 in the opening final and 6-1 in the final of the second event.
“I just said to myself that I didn’t have much to lose,” said Ginepri of his win over Haas in Orlando. “He’s got the best of me the last four times we’ve played so I started to swing away and started to free it up a little bit. I started to connect on some shots and hit some good drop shots and won some key points and played a little bit better.”
Despite the loss, Haas repeated as the season-long points champion on the Champions Series Tennis circuit by winning the two of three events in Orlando. In 2019, Haas finished with a perfect 10-0 record to win the year-long points championship. He won titles in Newport Beach, Calif., Maui, Hawaii, New Haven, Conn., Los Angeles, Calif., and Houston, Texas to become the first player in the 15-year history of the Champions Series to be an undefeated year-end points champion. In 2020, Haas won four titles – two at the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California in August and his two titles in Orlando – and finished with a 10-2 record and 1800 ranking points, 200 better than Ginepri, the season-long rankings runner-up.
In 2018, Blake, the former world No. 4, 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 No. 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.
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InsideOut Sports + Entertainment is a Los Angeles based 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 2005, InsideOut launched its signature property, the Champions Series, a collection of tournaments featuring the greatest names in tennis over the age of 30. In addition, InsideOut produces many other successful events including “Legendary Night” exhibitions, The World Series of Beach Volleyball and numerous corporate outings. Since inception, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment has raised over $5 million for charity. In 2014, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment merged with Horizon Media, the largest privately held media services agency in the world. For more information, please log on to www.InsideOutSE.com or InvescoSeries.com or follow on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
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