For this four-time Grand Slam champion, competitiveness didn’t stop with retirement. (AP)

Tennis Magazine asked Hall of Famer and U.S. Davis Cup captain Jim Courier, is there a “seniors” match that sticks out? 

There are two that come to mind. One was last year in my hometown of Orlando, FL. I had a little extra riding on it because I had a lot of family and friends in attendance. I beat John McEnroe in my first match of the night and then had to play Andy Roddick in the final.

These were one-set matches, and I was leading Andy 4–2. I haven’t played Andy a lot, and I was absolutely gunning to win, and vice versa. It was high intensity, and I just got tired and tight. I ended up losing 6–4, which was really disappointing. But it showed that I could still compete with Andy, who I’ve never beaten—even though I’m giving him a few years.

Another one goes back about a decade, when I was playing Pete Sampras in Charlotte, NC in the final of one of our multi-day events. These were two-set matches with a 10‑point tiebreaker for a third set. It was great intensity and fun. I didn’t beat Pete a lot during my tour career, but I clipped him in this match. That was pretty satisfying. I think a lot of people expect that we don’t go as hard in these types of events, but that’s not the case.

A fun interview between Lisa Leslie and Jim Courier from Indian Wells' Desert Smash:


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