McEnroe Declares “The Age of Love Is Over” In Third-Place Win Over Philippoussis That He Dedicates To “The Old Girls”
DALLAS, TEXAS -– Wayne Ferreira of South Africa defeated Jim Courier of the United States 2-6, 6-3, 11-9 (Champions Tie-Break) Sunday to win the $142,000 Stanford Championships, his second title of 2007 on the Outback Champions Series and his third career title on global circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30.
Ferreira collected a paycheck of $46,000 for winning two round-robin matches and the championship match. He also collected 700 Stanford Champions Rankings points, strengthening his No. 3 ranking behind No. 1 Todd Martin and No. 2 Pete Sampras. Courier, who was seeking his first Outback Champions Series title of 2007, earned $32,000 and 600 Stanford Champions Ranking points.
In the third-place playoff Sunday, 48-year-old John McEnroe defeated 30-year-old Mark Philippoussis of Australia 6-4, 6-4. Philippoussis, ranked No. 483 on the ATP computer and playing his first competitive tennis event since January, is the first active ATP player to compete on the Outback Champions Series.
Ferreira lead Courier 9-5 in the decisive Champions Tie-Break, a 10-point tie-break played in lieu of a third-set, but Courier fought off four straight match points to knot the score at 9-9. Ferreira then won the next two points to close out the match.
“I wanted to win. I worked to get it done,” said Ferreira. “I started off very badly. Luckily I got my groove in the second set. I was so happy to win.”
Said Courier, “(In the first set), I was taking advantage of a lot of miscues by Wayne. In the second set, I got a little more tentative. In the tie-breaker, I really can’t complain. I got a little tight.”
Ferreira, 36 and the men’s record holder for most consecutive Grand Slam appearances with 56, registered his second win in as many tournaments over Courier after defeating the two-time French and Australian Open champion in the third place match at last month’s Outback Champions Series event in Charlotte, N.C. Ferreira won the opening event on the 2007 Outback Champions Series in March, defeating Aaron Krickstein at The Oliver Group Champions Cup in Naples, Fla. Last year, Ferreira also won the Outback Champions Series event in Houston and has reached at least the final in four of the last seven Outback Champions Series events he has played.
McEnroe showed his excellent physical conditioning — and his trademark touch and feel — in his fulfilling victory over Philippoussis, who was using the Outback Champions Series as a springboard to a comeback from knee surgery on to the ATP tour. During his time off recuperating from surgery, Philippoussis starred in the NBC reality dating show Age of Love where Philippoussis would date and chose between “cougars” — or women in their 40s — and “kittens” — or women in their 20s. The show ended when Philippoussis chose a 25-year-old “kitten” Amanda Salinas, rejecting the 40-something generation women. The 48-year-old McEnroe, the oldest man on the Outback Champions Series, dedicated his win over Philippoussis Sunday to the scorned “cougars” of the show.
“There was no love loss between us and the age of love is over,” joked McEnroe after the match. “He picked the young girl so this win is for the old girls.”
Philippoussis said during the week in Dallas that he is not sure what his next event will be, but he is planning to play during the Australian ATP summer circuit in January and will ask for a wildcard into the Australian Open.
“I felt a little stiff today — mainly just stiffness from playing more matches this week,” said Philippoussis of his match with McEnroe, his fourth in four days in Dallas. “It took a toll physically as the week went on. The biggest thing is my body holding up. My goal is to be ready for the Australian Open.”
Said McEnroe of Philippoussis, “I think he could come back and scare some people.”