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Andy Roddick (pictured above) defeated hometown favorite Jim Courier (pictured below) to win the Champions Showdown in Orlando with a 6-4 victory in the one-set championship match on Thursday night.
In the first ever tennis event at the Amway Center, Roddick won his fourth PowerShares Series title of the year and his 14th since he joined the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30 in 2014.
Courier, playing in front of family and friends in his hometown, was looking to beat Roddick for the first time in his career, losing all four previous matches against his former Davis Cup teammate. He broke Roddick’s serve in the third game of the match and led 4-2 to seemingly be in control to win his first PowerShares Series title since Oklahoma City in 2014. Roddick, however, had other ideas and broke back in the eighth game of the set with an acutely angled cross-court slice backhand passing shot, just out of Courier’s reach. Roddick held his own serve to go 5-4 up with some spectacular serves and forehands before benefiting from three Courier unforced errors in the next game to break serve and close out the match.
“He came out really well, I wasn’t ready for it. I think he’s been doing push-ups or something,” quipped Roddick of Courier’s fast start. “I was expecting to get in a rhythm early, put some balls in the court, but he was having none of that. He took the ball on the rise and came in strong early and I had to adjust at the end. I was fortunate.”
Roddick advanced to the final with a 6-3 win over James Blake (pictured above) in the semifinals while Courier beat John McEnroe (pictured below) 7-5 in the other semifinal.
In between the two singles semifinals, top pro golfer Henrik Stenson (pictured below right), the winner of the 2016 Open Championship, participated in the PowerShares “Target Challenge” along with fellow golf pro Steve Stricker (pictured below left.)
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 final event for the 2016 PowerShares Series season will be played Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn featuring McEnroe, Courier, Roddick and Blake. Ticket and schedule information can be found at www.PowerSharesSeries.com
More photographs at FloridaLeisurePhotography.com