THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Mardy Fish beat good friend and former U.S. Davis Cup teammate James Blake 6-3 Sunday to win the Socal Honda Dealers Helpful Cup at the Sherwood Country Club, the ninth of ten events on the 2018 Invesco Series QQQ tour.
Despite the loss, Blake, the former world No. 4, clinched the year-end points title for 2018 on the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30 with his runner-up showing. Fish’s semifinal win over Tommy Haas, the only player who could overtake Blake in the rankings, officially clinched the points title for Blake, who won three tournament titles this year in Houston, New Haven and Winston-Salem.
“I was the superior player today, really,” joked Fish with sarcasm in his post-match on-court interview of beating his good friend. “I gave him a game there early because I was stiff, because I was laying down there in the locker room in between matches in the ice bath. What can you say, really. I beat him up on tour and I beat him up out here. It never gets old.”
The tournament win was the third for Fish on the Invesco Series after winning titles last year in Newport, R.I. and in New Haven, Connecticut. Fish, the former world No. 7 and the silver medalist at the 2004 Olympic Games, grew up in Vero Beach, Florida but now resides in Los Angeles with his wife Stacey, four-year-old son Beckett and one-year-old daughter Stella. Fish said competing with his good friends from his ATP World Tour days in front of his son and a sold-out crowd made for a special afternoon.
“My son is out here, our daughter is back home, she really doesn’t understand, but it’s nice for him to watch and see what Daddy can do,” said Fish. “It’s good to get out here with your buddies. I don’t get to see them very often at all. We have a lot of history with all the guys out here, so it’s fun to be back.”
Fish and Haas played one of the better matches on the Invesco Series QQQ in 2018 in the first semifinal, Fish coming back from an early break to win 7-6 (3). In the second semifinal, Blake beat two-time defending champion Andy Roddick, 6-2, in a rematch of the 2017 final at the Sherwood Country Club.
Blake’s runner-up showing puts his Invesco Series QQQ point total to 1400, which is insurmountable with one event remaining for the year. Haas, playing in his last event of the year, ended his rookie season on the Invesco Series QQQ with 1100 points which secured him a second place finish in the rankings.
The final remaining 2018 Invesco Series QQQ event will be played December 6 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Florida, featuring Fish, Blake, Roddick and Jim Courier.
2018 Invesco Series QQQ Results
April 7: Charleston, SC (Family Circle Tennis Center) F: Tommy Haas def. Andy Roddick 6-1; SF: Tommy Haas def. Michael Chang 6-2; Andy Roddick def. Mark Philippoussis 6-3
May 5, 6: Kohala Coast, HI (Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows) F: Tommy Haas def. John McEnroe 7-5 SF: Tommy Haas def. Mardy Fish 6-3, John McEnroe def. Jim Courier 6-3
May 17: Toronto, ON (Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre) F: Mark Philippoussis d. John McEnroe 7-5, SF: Mark Philippoussis d. James Blake 7-6 (5); John McEnroe d. Jim Courier 6-2.
July 22: Newport, RI (International Tennis Hall of Fame) F: Lleyton Hewitt d. Tommy Haas 7-6(2) SF: Lleyton Hewitt d. James Blake 6-3; Tommy Haas d. Jim Courier 6-3
August 19: Winston-Salem, NC (Wake Forest University) F: James Blake d. Andy Roddick 6-1 SF: Andy Roddick d. Robby Ginepri 7-6 (4); James Blake d. Michael Chang 6-3
August 23/24: New Haven, CT (Yale University) F: James Blake d. John McEnroe 6-4 SF: John McEnroe d. Todd Martin 6-3, James Blake d. Tommy Haas 6-4
October 4: St. Louis, MO (Chaifetz Arena) F: Mark Philippoussis d. Jim Courier 6-1; SF: Jim Courier d. John McEnroe 7-6(3), Mark Philippoussis d. Andy Roddick 6-3
October 5: Houston, TX (Tudor Fieldhouse) F: James Blake d. John McEnroe 7-6(3) SF: John McEnroe d. Jim Courier 6-3, James Blake d. Andy Roddick 7-6 (4)
October 21: Los Angeles, CA (Sherwood Country Club) F: Mardy Fish d. James Blake 6-3; SF: Mardy Fish d. Tommy Haas 7-6(3), James Blake d. Andy Roddick 6-2
Each Invesco Series QQQ event features special VIP experiences, including hit-with-the-pros opportunities and special back-stage access. All ticket, experience and event information can be found at www.InvescoSeries.com
In 2017, the year-long points championship was decided in the final match of the season when Andy Roddick defeated James Blake in the Los Angeles final at the Sherwood Country Club. Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion and world No. 1, won four Invesco Series QQQ titles in all in 2017, winning in Birmingham, Ala., Chicago, Lincoln, Neb., and Los Angeles. Blake, the former world No. 4 and former U.S. Davis Cup star, won series titles in Charleston, S.C., Winston-Salem, N.C. and in Lynchburg, Va.
In 2016, Mark Philippoussis won the Series points title with 1600 points and tournament titles in Memphis, Tulsa, Newport, Winston-Salem and New Haven. Roddick finished in second place, also earning 1600 points but losing the head-to-head tiebreaker with Philippoussis 5-2, while winning titles in Charleston, St. Louis, Los Angeles and Orlando. Blake finished in third place with 1100 points and tournament titles in
Chicago, Portland and Brooklyn.
In 2015, Roddick won the Series points title in his second year of competing on the series with 1,600 points. Roddick won a record eight events Los Angeles, Lincoln, Chicago, Austin, Little Rock, Dallas, Richmond and Minneapolis. Blake finished second in the points rankings with 1,200 points, winning events in Boston and Cincinnati. Philippoussis finished in third with 1,100 points, winning titles in Salt Lake City and Vancouver. The year before in 2014, McEnroe won the points title for the first time in the nine-year history of Invesco Series QQQ tennis by winning events in Kansas City, Indianapolis, Nashville and Charlotte.
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