McEnroe One Day Shy Of 50th Birthday To Play Sampras For Boston 2009: Boston February

McEnroe One Day Shy Of 50th Birthday To Play Sampras For Boston

BOSTON, February 14, 2009 – John McEnroe, who will turn 50 years old on Monday, will spend his final day as a “forty-something” taking
on Pete Sampras in the final of the $150,000 Champions Cup Boston. McEnroe advanced into the championship match of the opening event on the 2009 Outback Champions Series by defeating Jim Courier 7-5, 6-1 in Saturday’s semifinals. Sampras advanced into the championship match with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Todd Martin Saturday evening. The Champions Cup Boston is the first of eight events on the 2009 Outback Champions Series, the global tennis circuit for champion tennis players age 30 and over. Last year, McEnroe won his first career Outback Champions Series title in Boston when he defeated Aaron Krickstein in the championship match. En route to his victory last year in Boston, McEnroe upset Sampras 2-6, 7-5, 10-4 (Champions Tie-Break) in round-robin play when the tournament featured a different format. Sampras, the winner of a men’s record 14 major singles titles, won the Champions Cup Boston title in 2007, defeating McEnroe 6-3, 6-4 in round-robin play en route to the title. “At 50, he still plays great,” said Sampras of McEnroe, who won his first major singles title 30 years ago at the 1979 U.S. Open. “He’s got that lefty serve that’s effective, he’s smart and he has experience. It should be entertaining. It’s always entertaining playing John.” “I thought the match was going to be rough,” said McEnroe. “He came out quick and he was hitting a big ball. I took it as a sign of respect that he had to step it up. Something happened to his back obviously. Maybe he was trying to push it and wasn’t quite ready. I felt like there were moments when I was hitting the ball better and clicking. I was moving better than yesterday.” Said Courier, “I was disappointed my body betrayed me because I was playing very well, practicing very well and training for this tournament and the rest of the first half of our season. It’s disappointing to not be able to play at full throttle. I was up a break and serving and I would have hopefully been able to continue along that way. There is no guarantee playing John. He came out of the box in the first game and played very well.” The second semifinal between Sampras and Martin – a rematch of the 2007 Champions Cup Boston final, won by Sampras 6-3, 5-7, 11-9 (Champions Tie-Break) – was highlighted by the dominant serving of both players.
“Not a whole lot separated us tonight,” said Sampras. “Todd was serving great and holding serve pretty easy. He had two loose games there, a couple of double faults and that was it. I felt pretty good. I felt sharp.”

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