InsideOut Sports & Entertainment has announced that The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman will host a new Outback Champions Series tennis tournament, April 16-20, 2008 as the U.S.-based champions tennis circuit continues its international expansion.The Legends Championships becomes the latest event outside of the United States on the Outback Champions Series, the international tennis circuit featuring the greatest names in tennis age 30 and over.
“The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman is a stunning venue for the latest addition to the Outback Champions Series,” said Jon Venison, co-founding partner of InsideOut Sports & Entertainment and the Outback Champions Series. “This event will be the marquee tennis event in the Caribbean and is a great opportunity for fans to visit the Cayman Islands for an exciting tennis-themed vacation. The popularity and interest in the Outback Champions Series continues to grow and we are excited that The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman is the latest in our expanding portfolio of events.”
“The Outback Champions Series and our Legends Championships reinforces our commitment to making Grand Cayman the premier tennis destination in the Caribbean,” said Michael Ryan, owner and developer of The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and event title sponsor. “We’re looking forward to hosting many of the best tennis players in the world and welcoming athletes and visitors alike with our relaxed Caymanian hospitality.”
Jim Courier, two-time French and Australian Open champion and the Outback Champions Series No. 1 player in 2006, is among the early committed players to the field. Wayne Ferriera, a 1992 Olympic bronze medalist, and former U.S. Davis Cup standout Jimmy Arias have also committed to participate in the event.
“I am thrilled to get the opportunity to play in this event,” said Courier. “I have visited The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and the resort is truly extraordinary. The field will surely be tough but I will be coming to win.”
The Legends Championships will feature $150,000 in prize money with an undefeated winner taking home $54,000. Players also will compete for Champions Series points that will determine the Stanford Champions Rankings year-end champion on the Outback Champions Series and the winner of a $100,000 year-end bonus. The event will be played on clay in an intimate stadium setting at the resort.
All Champions Series events feature eight-man round-robin match formats with the winner of each four-player division meeting in the title match while second place finishers in each division meet in the third-place match. To be eligible to compete on the Champions Series, players must have reached at least a Grand Slam singles final, been ranked in the top five in the world or played singles on a championship Davis Cup team.
The complete player field as well as the entire 2008 Outback Champions Series schedule will be announced in the near future. More information can be obtained by visiting www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com. Tickets begin at just $15 and destination packages (including The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman accommodations) are available. For tickets, call 877-332-TIXX (8499) or 954-241-7936.
Todd Martin, a singles finalist at the 1994 Australian Open and the 1999 US Open, finished 2007 as the No. 1 ranked player in the Stanford Champions Rankings that determine the year-end champion on the Outback Champions Series. Martin was followed at No. 2 by Courier, No. 1 on the 2006 Stanford Champions Points rankings, and 14-time Grand Slam tournament champion Pete Sampras at No. 3.
The 2007 Outback Champions Series kicked off March 7-11 in Naples, Fla.., at The Oliver Group Champions Cup where Wayne Ferreira of South Africa defeated Aaron Krickstein in the final. Sampras returned to tournament tennis for the first time since the 2002 US Open at the Champions Cup - Boston and won the title, defeating Martin in the final. Sampras also won the third event on the 2007 Outback Champions Series, the Champions Cup - Athens, in his first ever visit to Greece, the homeland of his father Sam and mother Georgia. Martin won the Gibson Guitar Champions Cup in August in Newport, R.I., defeating John McEnroe in the final. Sampras won The Championships at The Palisades - in September in Charlotte, N.C., defeating Martin in the final. Ferreira won his second title of 2007 at The Stanford Championships in Dallas, defeating Courier in the final. Newcomer Paul Haarhuis won the final event of the Series in Dubai in November, defeating Courier in the final.