Blake beats McEnroe in Chicago opener
April 8, 2016
James Blake won the opening event on the 2016 PowerShares Series tennis circuit Friday defeating John McEnroe 6-4 in the one-set championship match at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago.
The tournament win was the fifth career title for Blake on the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30. All four previous titles for Blake also came beating McEnroe in the final – in Salt Lake City in 2014 (7-6), Sacramento in 2014 (6-3), Boston in 2015 (7-5) and Cincinnati in 2015 (6-2).
Blake, 36, broke McEnroe in his first service game of the match and never looked back in the final, serving at a high percentage on the slick indoor court. McEnroe, who turned 57 on February 16, returned to the UIC Pavilion 25 years after he won his 77th and final ATP singles titles of his career there in a memorable final against younger brother Patrick McEnroe in 1991. He opened the 10th anniversary season of the PowerShares Series by beating Mardy Fish 7-6 (3) in the opening semifinal match, saving a match point serving at 4-5. Fish, 34, was playing in his debut PowerShares Series event and as a replacement for an injured Jim Courier. Blake advanced into the final with a 6-3 win over Andre Agassi.
Each PowerShares Series event features two one-set semifinal matches and a one-set championship match and, for the second straight year, players make their own line calls with assistance of electronic line-calling.
The remaining 2016 PowerShares Series schedule with player fields are listed below and ticket, schedule and player information can be found at PowerSharesSeries.com;
In 2015, Andy Roddick won the PowerShares 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. Mark 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 Champions Series tennis by winning events in Kansas City, Indianapolis, Nashville, and Charlotte.
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