Andy Roddick defeated 58-year-old John McEnroe 7-5 in an exciting and highly entertaining one-set championship match to win the PowerShares QQQ Challenge Wednesday night at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago.
The win is the 16th career title for Roddick on the PowerShares Series, the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30. The win for Roddick was also his second on the PowerShares Series in Chicago after also winning in 2015 where he also beat McEnroe in the final.
The 34-year-old Roddick broke McEnroe’s serve on his 11th break point chance in the match at 5-5, putting away a backhand volley to take the 6-5 lead. Roddick then fought off four more break points in the next game, two with service winners, one with an ace and one with a forehand winner. Roddick clinched the title with an amazing stretch backhand volley winner.
“That was an amazing night, even from my vantage point,” said Roddick of McEnroe’s strong play, especially his impeccable volleying skills and his persistence and competitiveness throughout the match, fighting off so many break points. “That was really, really, really impressive and I am very lucky. I can’t believe he came in on one of my first serves in that last game. That’s how well he was playing tonight.”
While giving props to the sports fans of Chicago, Roddick again acknowledged the effort of his final-round opponent to the crowd.
“Chicago is one of the best sports towns in the world so it is always a pleasure to play here,” said Roddick to the crowd. “The ability of you all (the fans of Chicago) to say you saw Michael Jordan, that you saw the Cubs win (the World Series) and tonight you can say that you saw John McEnroe play great tennis.”
Wednesday’s Chicago final marked the second straight PowerShares Series event where Roddick beat McEnroe in the final, also beating the left-handed four-time U.S. Open champion last month in Birmingham, Alabama.
To advance into the final earlier in the night, Roddick defeated his chief PowerShares Series rival Mark Philippoussis 7-6(7), saving a match-point in the tiebreaker. McEnroe defeated Jim Courier 7-6 (4) in the other semifinal.
Roddick’s win over Philippoussis was especially sweet as the 2017 International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee lost to Philippoussis in both previous occasions on this year’s PowerShares Series – by a 7-6 (5) margin in the final of Toronto and 6-4 in the semifinals of Charleston. Roddick lost to Philippoussis five out of seven times during the 2016 PowerShares Series, the tie-breaker in giving Philippoussis the 2016 PowerShares Series points title.
“I was a little lucky there,” said Roddick of his win over Philippoussis. “Mark has gotten the best of me the last year-and-a-half so I needed this one.”
Roddick earned 400 PowerShares ranking points with the tournament win to extend his lead in the PowerShares Series points standings with 1100 points. Philippoussis remains in second place with 700 points while McEnroe, and his 200 points, takes sole possession of third place with 600 points.
Each PowerShares Series event features two one-set semifinal matches and a one-set championship match and, for the third 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;
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.