Tennis at the Ritz

| 16/02/2009

(CNS): Mark Philippoussis, Jim Courier and Goran Ivanisevic (left) will headline the field at The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman Legends Championships to be held 24 to 26 April, InsideOut Sports & Entertainment has announced. This will be the fourth of eight events on the 2009 Outback Champions Series, the global tennis circuit for champion tennis players age 30 and over, and will feature a field of six champion players competing in a single knock-out format event, vying for $150,000 in prize money and ranking points that determine the year-end No. 1 in the Stanford Champions Rankings. The event’s other three competitors will be announced in the near future.

Founded in 2005, the Outback Champions Series features some of the biggest names in tennis over the last 25 years, including 14-time major tournament champion Pete Sampras, four-time US Open champion John McEnroe, two-time French and Australian Open champion Jim Courier and others. To be eligible to compete on the Outback Champions Series, players must have reached at least amajor singles final, been ranked in the top five in the world or played singles on a championship Davis Cup team. The year-end No. 1 ranked player on the Series will receive a $100,000 bonus courtesy of Stanford Financial Group, the official rankings sponsor of the Outback Champions Series.

Philippoussis, 32, is currently attempting another return to competitive tennis and a hopeful return to the ATP Tour. A native of Melbourne, Australia, Philippoussis achieved a career-high ranking of No. 8 in 1999 and won 11 career ATP singles titles. He reached the final of the US Open in 1998, losing to countryman Patrick Rafter. He also reached the final at Wimbledon in 2003, where he lost to Roger Federer in straight sets – Federer’s first Wimbledon and first major singles title.

Courier, 38, is one of 15 men in the history of tennis to play in all four major singles finals – winning two Australian Open titles (1992 and 1993) and two French Open titles (1991 and 1992). He also was a finalist at Wimbledon in 1993 and the U.S. Open in 1991. An owner of 23 career singles titles and the No. 1 ranked player in the world in 1992, Courier helped the United States to Davis Cup titles in 1992 and 1995 and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005. Courier has won seven career titles on the Outback Champions Series and finished the 2006 and 2008 seasons as the No. 1 ranked player in the Stanford Champions Rankings. Courier won the inaugural title in Grand Cayman in 2008, defeating Wayne Ferreira in the final.

Ivanisevic, 37, reached a career-high ranking of No. 2 during his career, where he is best known for his incredible run to the Wimbledon title in 2001, defeating Patrick Rafter in a dramatic five-set final. He was runner-up at Wimbledon on three occasions and won 22 singles titles during his career. He was a member of Croatia’s winning Davis Cup team in 2005 and reached the doubles final at the French Open on two occasions. In 1992, he won bronze medals in singles and doubles at the Barcelona Olympics.

“Mark, Jim and Goran are three of the most charismatic and talented tennis players in the last 20 years and are all favourites to win in Grand Cayman this year,” said Jon Venison, co-founding partner of InsideOut Sports & Entertainment and the Outback Champions Series. “We are looking forward to our second year of bringing Outback Champions Series tennis to The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman featuring some of the greatest names in the game in a stunningly-beautiful location.”

Ticket, travel and tournament information can be found by visiting

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