THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., – Tommy Haas overwhelmed Robby Ginepri 6-0 in the one-set championship match Friday to win the Raymond James Champions Cup, the third of three Champions Series Tennis events played this week at the Sherwood Country Club. Haas and Ginepri played each other in all three events, Ginepri winning 6-4 in the final of the opening tournament before Haas turned the tables by beating Ginepri 6-4 in the semifinals of the second event.
The 6-0 decision was the first ever “bagel” match since Champions Series Tennis started its one-set match format in its one-day events in 2011.
“He’s going to want some revenge,” said Haas of not losing a game to Ginepri. “It’s great. It gives us a little competition. I felt pretty good against him. I didn’t miss much at all. I had a high first-serve percentage and using my chances. It was just one of those sets where it just clicked.”
The victory was the ninth career Champions Series Tennis tournament title for Haas, who joined the North American tennis tour for champion tennis players over the age of 30 in 2018, shortly after retiring from the ATP Tour. His career Champions Series Tennis record now stands at 20-4.
During the pandemic lockdown, Haas, who lives in Southern California, posted social media updates of his continued training. Last month, he played in a special exhibition event in Berlin in his native Germany where he beat the current world No. 34 Jan-Lennard Struff while holding two set points against world No. 3 Dominic Thiem.
Following his win over Ginepri, Haas talked of his appreciation of still being able to play at a high level of tennis.
“I was one of the unfortunate ones who had to deal with injuries early on,” said the 42-year-old Haas, the Olympic silver medalist from the 2000 Olympic Games. “When I was 23, I was forced to be away for over a year with two shoulders surgeries. I realized early on in my career how privileged I am to play the sport I love and that I always wanted to do and to become a professional tennis player. Being able to play in my early to mid 40s now, that’s something that is special. I never looked at that way when I was on tour. Having a chance to play in places like this is really special.”
To advance to the final, Haas defeated former world No. 4 James Blake 6-1, while Ginepri defeated U.S. Davis Cup captain Mardy Fish 6-3.
Ginepri had won the only 2020 Champions Series Tennis event completed prior to the global pandemic, winning his first career Champions Series title by 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.
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, 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 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 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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