NEW YORK, NY – Tennis legends John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Michael Chang and Todd Martin will kick off the 2012 PowerShares Series this Saturday, October 13, when they compete at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America Tennis Championships, Presented by Sanderson Ford and Lincoln in Surprise, Arizona.
The PowerShares Series will visit 12 U.S. cities during its seven-week season. Each event on the circuit will feature four champions squaring off in a one-night tournament held in one session for all ticket holders. Fans will see two 1-set semifinal matches followed by the championship match featuring the semifinal winners, in each of the shootout style tournaments that take approximately three hours from start to finish.
In addition to McEnroe, Courier, Chang and Martin, the tour features fellow Grand Slam champions Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander and Pat Rafter competing for a prize pool totaling $1 million, to be shared by the top three finishers at the conclusion of the season.
"I’m very excited about playing again, and I'm going to do everything I can to win the title this year," said McEnroe. "Pete (Sampras) is still the big favorite coming off his championship last season, but I will be ready. When you're a competitor at heart like me, winning is first and foremost." McEnroe captured the 2011 season-ending HSBC Tennis Cup in Buffalo, with an 8-5 triumph over Martin in the final. The 7-time Grand Slam champion is slated to play in all 12 PowerShares Series events this season, the only player that will do so.
"I can’t wait to get back out there to defend my #1 position on the PowerShares Series," said Sampras. "I know the guys will be gunning for me this year, but I'll be ready for the challenge." Sampras earned $500,000 by finishing the 2011 season as the top-ranked player, after winning five of the seven events he competed in. Sampras is slated to take part in five events this year: Chicago, Detroit, Boston, Philadelphia and New York.
"I'll be pushing hard to try to take the #1 spot this year," said Courier. "Last year, Pete edged me out with some key wins early in the schedule, but I've been putting in the extra work to try to get back on top in 2012." Courier earned $350,000 by finishing as the second ranked player last year, and will compete in 11 of the 12 events on the 2012 schedule, the only exception being the November 5 event at Madison Square Garden.
Andre Agassi collected $150,000 last year by finishing as the 3rd-ranked player, and will return to compete in five events this season: New York, San Jose, Las Vegas, Denver, and Los Angeles.
"I love the fast-paced shootout format of these events, which are tailor-made for fan entertainment," said Agassi. "The crowds were great in 2011 and I hope they are ready to enjoy an even better time in 2012."
Michael Chang has six PowerShares appearances on his 2012 schedule, while Ivan Lendl will make four appearances. Mats Wilander and newcomer Patrick Rafter will each play in two events.
Tickets and unique interactive VIP fan experiences for the 2012 PowerShares Series are on sale now. For complete tour and ticket information, visit http://www.PowerSharesSeries.com/.
2012 PowerShares Series Tour Schedule
October 13 – Surprise, AZ – Surprise Tennis Stadium – McEnroe, Chang, Martin, Courier
October 17 – Chicago, IL – United Center – Sampras, McEnroe, Courier, Lendl
October 18 – Detroit, MI – The Palace of Auburn Hills – Sampras, McEnroe, Courier, Lendl
October 19 – Boston, MA – TD Garden – Sampras, McEnroe, Courier, Lendl
November 2 – Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center – McEnroe, Sampras, Courier, Rafter
November 5 –New York, NY – Madison Square Garden – McEnroe, Agassi, Sampras, Rafter
November 9 – Tampa, FL – Tampa Bay Times Forum – Chang, McEnroe, Wilander, Courier
November 10 – Atlanta, GA – Gwinnett Center – Chang, McEnroe, Wilander, Courier
November 16 – San Jose, CA – HP Pavilion – Agassi, McEnroe, Lendl, Courier
November 17 – Las Vegas, NV – Mandalay Bay Hotel – Agassi, Chang, McEnroe, Courier
November 29 – Denver, CO – Pepsi Center – Agassi, Chang, McEnroe, Courier
November 30 – Anaheim, CA – Honda Center – Agassi, Chang, McEnroe, Courier