HOUSTON – Tommy Haas defeated Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-4 Thursday in the one-set final of the Oracle Champions Cup Presented by RBC Wealth Management to complete an undefeated season on the Invesco Series QQQ circuit and claim the season-long points title on the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30.
Haas, the former world No. 2 and silver medalist at the 2000 Olympic Games, finished the 2019 Invesco Series QQQ season with a perfect 10-0 record, winning titles in Newport Beach, Calif, Maui, Hawaii, New Haven, Connecticut, Los Angeles and in the season finale in Houston Thursday played indoors at the Tudor Fieldhouse at Rice University. Haas is the first player in the 15-year history of the Invesco Series to be an undefeated year-end points champion.
“I didn’t really think about it,” said the 41-year-old Haas of his season-long effort finishing atop the Invesco Series QQQ rankings. “Every time I come out, I try to play as good as I can and I enjoy myself as well. If it ends up with a win, great. I try to just compete. If the other person is better than me then so be it. This year, it’s been working pretty good.”
Despite being retired from playing tennis full-time on the ATP Tour since 2017, Haas said that fitness is still important in his life, as he said it should be for all people to get out and exercise.
“Fitness, in general, is so important,” he said. “Even as you don’t play competitive sports anymore or whatever it is that you do, you have to keep doing something every day if you can. It’s easier said than done but even for me, I don’t go out and play tennis every day, but I try to do some kind of activity. The body just needs that otherwise you get stiff. You sit around all day; you don’t do anything. Especially when you want to come out here and try to move quite well. Line yourself up to the shot the right way and still try to have some core strength, and the leg strength, so you got to stay with it.”
Since joining the Invesco Series at the start of the 2018 season, Haas has compiled an impressive 15-3 won-loss record. Last year, he won titles in Charleston, S.C. and Kohala Coast, Hawaii.
To advance to the final in Houston, Haas defeated 2003 U.S. Open champion Andy Roddick 6-2 while Ferrero, the 2003 French Open champion and a former world No. 1, defeated for U.S. Davis Cup hero and world No. 4 James Blake 6-4. Blake’s loss to Ferrero officially clinched the points title for Haas, who finished the season with 1600 points. Blake, a former NCAA singles finalist for Harvard, finished in second place in the season-long rankings with 1300 points, winning titles in Tampa, San Jose, California, and Toronto. Ferrero, from Spain, was appearing in his first career Invesco Series QQQ tournament.
Invesco Series QQQ tournament results from this year are as follows:
January 26 – Newport Beach, CA (Newport Beach Tennis Club) F: Tommy Haas def. Andy Roddick 7-6(2); SF: Tommy Haas def. Mardy Fish 6-3, Andy Roddick def. James Blake 6-3
April 4 – Tampa, FL (Innisbrook Resort) F: James Blake def. Jim Courier 6-3; SF: James Blake def. Mardy Fish 6-3, Jim Courier def. John McEnroe 7-6(4)
April 6 – Charleston, SC (Volvo Car Stadium) F: Lleyton Hewitt def. Andy Roddick 6-2; SF: Lleyton Hewitt def. Mats Wilander 6-3, Andy Roddick def. Jim Courier 6-4
May 4-5 – Maui, HI (Royal Lahaina Resort) F: Tommy Haas def. Mardy Fish 6-4; SF: Tommy Haas def. Mark Philippoussis 6-2, Mardy Fish def. Michael Chang 6-3
July 21 – Newport, RI (International Tennis Hall of Fame) F: Todd Martin def. Mats Wilander 6-2 SF: Todd Martin def. Yevgeny Kafelnikov 6-4, Mats Wilander def. Jim Courier 6-2
August 3 – San Jose, CA (San Jose State University) F: James Blake def. Mark Philippoussis 7-6(4); SF: James Blake def. Michael Chang 6-2, Mark Philippoussis def. Andy Roddick 7-6(4)
September 7 – New Haven, CT (Yale University) F: Tommy Haas def. Mark Philippoussis 6-4; SF Mark Philippoussis def. Andy Roddick 6-4, Tommy Haas def. James Blake 6-2.
September 26 – Toronto, ON (Mattamy Athletic Centre): F: James Blake def. Robby Ginepri 6-4; SF: James Blake def. Jim Courier 6-3, Robby Ginepri def. Andy Roddick 6-4.
October 26 – Los Angeles, CA – (Sherwood Country Club) F: Tommy Haas def. Mardy Fish 6-2, SF: Tommy Haas def. Andy Roddick 6-3, Mardy Fish def. Jim Courier 6-3
November 14 – Houston, TX – (Rice University) F: Tommy Haas def. Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-4, SF: Tommy Haas def. Andy Roddick 6-2, Juan Carlos Ferrero def. James Blake 6-4.
In 2018, Blake won his first Invesco Series QQQ 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 Invesco Series QQQ 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 1600 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. Blake finished in third place with 1100 points and tournament titles in Chicago, Portland and Brooklyn.
In 2015, Roddick won the Series points title in his second year of competing on the series with 1,600 points. Roddick won a record eight events Los Angeles, Lincoln, Chicago, Austin, Little Rock, Dallas, Richmond and Minneapolis. Blake finished second in the points rankings with 1,200 points, winning events in Boston and Cincinnati. Philippoussis finished in third with 1,100 points, winning titles in Salt Lake City and Vancouver. The year before in 2014, McEnroe won the points title for the first time in the nine-year history of Invesco Series QQQ tennis by winning events in Kansas City, Indianapolis, Nashville and Charlotte.
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