Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sacramento loses legends tournament

James Blake, 34, beat John McEnroe, 55, to win the Champions
Shootout in Sacramento in February. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Professional tennis in Northern California suffered another blow last week when Sacramento lost its legends tournament after one year.
   The capital was omitted from next spring's PowerShares Series schedule of one-night tournaments in 12 North American cities.
   The Champions Shootout follows the departures of the SAP Open in San Jose and Sacramento Capitals of WorldTeam Tennis.
   The SAP Open was replaced on the ATP World Tour calendar in February by Rio de Janeiro after 125 years in the San Francisco Bay Area.
   Also in February, the Capitals announced they were moving to Las Vegas after 28 years in Sacramento. Instead, the franchise folded after owner Deepal Wannakuwatte was charged with defrauding investors in his medical supply business of more than $100 million. He was sentenced last month to 20 years in prison.
   NorCal still has the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford on the WTA tour; men's Challengers in Aptos, Napa, Sacramento and Tiburon; and women's Challengers in Gold River in the Sacramento area and Redding.
   James Blake, 34, won the Champions Shootout at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento in February, defeating 55-year-old International Tennis Hall of Famer John McEnroe 6-3 in the final. Blake was only six months removed from playing on the ATP World Tour.
   Hall of Famers Pete Sampras and Jim Courier lost in the semifinals of the four-man tournament, which drew an announced crowd of 2,460 at the home of the NBA's Sacramento Kings.
   The 2015 PowerShares Series will begin March 24 in Salt Lake City and end May 2 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Set to compete are five Hall of Famers -- Sampras, McEnroe, Courier, Andre Agassi and Michael Chang -- likely future Hall of Famer Andy Roddick and former top-10 players Blake and Mark Philippoussis.

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