ORLANDO – Sam Querrey defeated Marcos Baghdatis 6-4 in the one-set final to win the Sunday edition of the Bea For Kids Champions Challenge presented by Raymond James at the Heathrow Country Club. The title marked the second title in two days on the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30 for Querrey, the former world No. 11 who was making his circuit debut.
“It was just really one or two points,” said Querrey of what separated him from Baghdatis, the 2006 Australian Open finalist from Cyprus. “Not only the returns, but he hit a lot of good backhands, a lot of good forehands. He still moves well. And he is only a couple years removed from the tour, but if he really wanted to he probably still has the game to be back out there.”
On Saturday, Querrey beat Tommy Haas 6-4 in his debut Champions Series Tennis event, handing Haas his first defeat on the tour this year. For his two days of play in Orlando, Querrey earned two $25,000 first-prize paychecks. To reach the final earlier on Sunday, Querrey defeated former world No. 1 doubles player Bob Bryan 7-6 (4) while Baghdatis defeated James Blake 6-4 in the first semifinal.
Following the final on Sunday, Querrey told Brett Haber in his post-match on-court interview that he would like to continue to play Champions Series Tennis events in 2022, while also still competing on the ATP Tour.
“These last two days have been a blast,” said the 34-year-old Querrey, currently ranked No. 109 in the ATP rankings. “Not only playing here and meeting a lot of great people at the clinics but James and Bob Bryan are two of my friends that I’ve known forever. Marcos has always been one of the most well-liked guys on tour, so it’s fun to come back and play with guys that I’ve truly been friends with for 15, 20 years.”
Baghdatis, who made his Champions Series Tennis debut in September at The Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia, earned $15,000 for his runner-up finish on Sunday. Both Blake and Bryan earned $10,000 each.
In addition to winning the season-long Champions Series Tennis points title with three titles during the year, Haas earned $90,000 in total prize money for the year, including $15,000 for his runner-up finish on Saturday.
Matches will be televised on Fox Sports Net affiliates and Tennis Channel in future weeks. All Champions Series events feature two one-set semifinal matches followed by a one-set championship match.
Earlier this year, Haas swept both titles at the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California, losing only five games combined in both events while beating Blake and Bob Bryan both by 6-1 margins in each respective final. Haas also won the title at The Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia defeating Andy Roddick in the final.
In 2020, Haas won the season-long points title for a second straight season, winning four titles – two at the Sherwood Country Club and two titles in Orlando – and finished with a 10-2 series match record.
In 2019, Haas finished with a perfect 10-0 record to win the year-long points championship for the first time. He won titles in Newport Beach, Calif., Maui, Hawaii, New Haven, Connecticut, Los Angeles and Houston 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 over the last 16 years has featured some of the greatest names in men’s tennis, including Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lendl, Stefan Edberg, Jim Courier, Michael Chang among others. Courier won the first Champions Series Tennis event held in 2005 in Houston at the Westside Tennis Club.
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