Chang beats Philippoussis in PowerShares Series finale
SURPRISE, Ariz. - Michael Chang won his second career title on the PowerShares Series Friday night, defeating Mark Philippoussis 6-2 in the one-set final of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America Championships, the 12th and final event this year on the U.S. circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30.
Chang's previous title came in 2011 in Washington, D.C. when he defeated, in succession, Pete Sampras and Jim Courier. Chang dedicated his victory Friday to his grandmother, who passed away earlier this week.
"It's been an emotional week," said Chang, the 1989 French Open champion. "I'm sure my grandma was looking over me tonight. I was happy to (win) for her."
Chang broke the Philippoussis serve at 1-1, using his crafty groundstrokes to move his Australian opponent side to side, controlling points from the baseline. Chang made a high percentage of first serves, committed virtually no errors and registered another service break in the seventh game, before closing out the relatively quick championship match.
Philippoussis, who won the 2010 title in Surprise, was a late substitute in the field for Sampras, who withdrew due to continued troubles with his right shoulder.
Earlier in the night, Chang beat Courier 7-6 (5) in the first semifinal. Chang served for the match at 6-5, but Courier immediately broke back to force the decisive tie-breaker, saving four match-points in the process. Chang ripped an inside out forehand winner to take a 4-2 lead in the tie-breaker and never looked back, hitting a forehand winner on match point to advance into the final.
Philippoussis, a two-time Grand Slam tournament runner-up, beat Todd Martin, another two-time Grand Slam tournament runner-up, in the other semifinal 6-3.
The win earned Chang 400 PowerShares Series rankings points to move him to the No. 6 ranking position in the final 2014 points standings. The 200 points for Philippoussis moved him into a final ranking position of No. 7, tied with Ivan Lendl. John McEnroe won the PowerShares Series points championship for the first time in his career, finishing with 1600 points and four tournament titles.
McEnroe, who turned 55 on February 16, won events in Kansas City on February 5 (defeating Chang in the final), Indianapolis on February 14 (defeating Courier in the final), in Nashville on March 12 (defeating Pat Cash in the final) and Charlotte on March 13 (defeating Ivan Lendl in the final).
The final 2014 PowerShares Series rankings are as follows:
1. John McEnroe - 1600 points
2. James Blake - 1200 points
3. Andy Roddick - 900 points
4. Andre Agassi - 800 points
Jim Courier - 800 points
6. Michael Chang - 700 points
7. Ivan Lendl - 500 points
Mark Philippoussis 500 points
9. Pat Cash - 300 points
10. Pete Sampras - 200 points
Jimmy Connors - 200 points
12. Todd Martin - 100 points
The final tournament results for the entire 2014 PowerShares Series are as follows:
Kansas City, Mo. - John McEnroe def. Michael Chang, 6-4;
Oklahoma City, Okla. - Jim Courier def. John McEnroe, 6-2;
Birmingham, Ala. - Andy Roddick def. John McEnroe, 7-5;
Indianapolis, Ind. - John McEnroe def. Jim Courier, 6-3;
Denver, Colo. - Andy Roddick def. James Blake, 6-3;
Houston, Texas - Andre Agassi def. James Blake, 6-4;
Salt Lake City, Utah - James Blake def. John McEnroe, 7-6 (5);
Sacramento, Calif. - James Blake def. John McEnroe, 6-3;
Portland, Ore. - Andre Agassi def. James Blake, 6-4;
Nashville, Tenn. - John McEnroe def. Pat Cash, 6-3;
Charlotte, N.C. - John McEnroe def. Ivan Lendl, 7-6 (5);
Surprise, Ariz. - Michael Chang def. Mark Philippoussis, 6-2.
For television listings for the 2014 PowerShares Series, go to www.PowerSharesSeries.com