ORLANDO – Tommy Haas defeated Robby Ginepri 6-2 in the one-set championship match to win the Bea For Kids Champions Challenge presented by Raymond James at the Heathrow Country Club.
The victory was the 10th 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 22-4 having won 10 of his 14 Champions Series Tennis events.
“It should be 14 out of 14,” joked Haas, the former world No. 2 of his career Champions Series Tennis record in his post-match on-court interview. “At the end of the day, it’s all good fun. It’s always nice to come out here and keep a little bit in shape and to go out there and play against former colleagues and competitors, now friends. It’s a lot of fun. I really appreciate this tour being around and having me. Everyone once in a while, I keep the ball between the lines, so that makes it even more fun.”
To advance to the final, Haas defeated Andy Roddick 6-2 while Ginepri defeated former Vince Spadea 6-4.
In their last meeting in August, Haas handed a 6-0 decision to Ginepri in the final of the Raymond James Challenge Cup in Thousand Oaks, California in what was the first ever “bagel” match since Champions Series Tennis started its one-set match format in its one-day events in 2011.
In February prior to the start of the global pandemic, Ginepri, a semifinalist at the 2005 U.S. Open, won 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. Ginepri also won the SoCal Honda Dealers Helpful Cup in Thousand Oaks, California in August, defeating Wayne Ferreira in the final.
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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