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Martin uses wooden racquet to beat Chang

October 1, 2011 12:51 AM
Former Australian & US Open Finalist Todd Martin celebrated an old-school victory over fellow American Michael Chang.
Michael Chang notched a victory over Champions Series patriarch Jim Courier, but couldn't get past Todd Martin and his wooden racquet.

 

By Dave Fanucchi, special to USTA.com

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Todd Martin went back in time Friday night when he used a vintage 1970’s Wilson Jack Kramer Pro Staff wooden racquet to close out Michael Chang in the championship match of the Leeann Chin Challenge 8-5, and win the fourth event of the 2011 Champions Series at the Target Center.

"Often times I feel like I play better with it than the racquets we use today," said Martin, who replaced the injured John McEnroe in the event. "It felt really good to use it. I had very low expectations coming in here, but this format rewards the player who plays the best in a very short amount of time."

Leading 7-5 in the eight game pro-set final, Martin went to his bag to break out the vintage lumber racquet. It certainly caught Chang by surprise, as Martin was able to break Chang’s serve by returning two cross court winners with the wood, to win the match. "Good thing he didn’t start the night with it," said Chang.

With his standard racquet, Martin’s game was on from the beginning. He was never broken on his serve all night, and reached the final with a 6-4 upset of crowd favorite Andre Agassi. Chang got by Jim Courier in the evening’s first semifinal, by the same 6-4 score.

For the victory, Martin earned 400 points in the 2011 official Champions Series rankings. Pete Sampras remains on top with 900 points, while Chang moved into second place with a total of 700 after four events. The top 3 finishers at the end of the 2011 Champions Series will share a one million dollar bonus pool .

The Champions Series continues Saturday night at the TD Garden in Boston in the Staples Champions Cup, featuring Agassi, Chang, Courier and Ivan Lendl. Tickets and unique interactive VIP fan experiences for the 2011 Champions Series are on sale to the general public and start at $35.  Tickets are available at venue box offices, all Ticketmaster locations, 202-397-SEAT or online at www.ticketmaster.com.

The 2011 Champions Series is a competitive tennis circuit featuring legendary tennis icons and world-renowned champions. The 12-city tour of one-night tournaments is being played in major U.S. arenas from September 22 – October 22.

TONIGHT’S SCORES

Semifinal 1: Chang def. Courier, 6-4
Semifinal 2: Martin def. Agassi, 6-4
Final: Martin def. Chang, 8-5
 
 

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