CHARLESTON, S.C. — James Blake saved two match points – while finally converting on his fifth match point – and beat Mark Philippoussis 7-6 (10-8) Saturday night in the one-set final at the PowerShares Legends Charleston as part of the WTA Tour’s Volvo Car Open.
Blake saved two matches points trailing Philippoussis 4-6 in the tie-breaker, after earlier holding two match points in a seven-deuce game with Philippoussis serving at 4-5.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Blake of winning his eighth career PowerShares Series title. “It was back and forth in service games and in the tiebreaker, I was up, he was up. We had a great time.”
The level of play between Blake and Philippoussis was very high with both players slugging out long baseline rallies on the clay court surface at the Volvo Car Stadium. Most rallies ended with clean forehand winners by both players, with few unforced errors.
“The preparation might not be the same, but we want to win every single point,” said Blake of his training for the PowerShares Series versus his days on the ATP World Tour. “This is fun for me. Anytime I win the last point, it’s a great day.”
To advance into the final earlier in the night, Blake defeated John McEnroe 6-4, while Philippoussis beat Roddick 6-4 in a rematch of the final of Thursday’s PowerShares Series 2017 season opening event in Toronto, won by Philippoussis.
Blake earned 400 PowerShares ranking points with the tournament win in his 2017 PowerShares Series debut. Philippoussis earned 200 points with the runner-up showing and, combined with his win in Toronto on Thursday, remains in the rankings lead with 600 points. Roddick sits in third place behind Philippoussis and Blake after two events with 300 points with McEnroe in fourth place with 200 points. Mardy Fish is in fifth place with 100 points.
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 PowerShares Series for this season schedule with player fields are listed below and ticket, schedule and player information can be found at www.PowerSharesSeries.com;
April 28 – Birmingham, Ala. – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mardy Fish
May 17 – Chicago – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis
July 23 – Newport, RI – Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake, Mardy Fish
August 20 – Winston-Salem, N.C. – Andy Roddick, James Blake, Michael Chang, Mardy Fish
August 24-25 – New Haven, Conn. – John McEnroe, James Blake, Michael Chang, Mark Philippoussis
TBD – Lincoln, Neb. – TBD
TBD – Los Angeles, Calif. – TBD
TBD – Nashville, Tenn. – TBD
In 2016, Mark Philippoussis won the PowerShares 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. James Blake finished in third place with 1100 points and tournament titles in Chicago, Portland and Brooklyn.
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.