Challenge of Champions

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The "Challenge of Champions" was created to be one of the richest prize money tennis events in the world. Created by Leo E. Fenn III in 1985 as an Invitation Only Tennis Tournament which would feature daily matches which were the equivalent to the Finals of the US Open or Wimbledon. It was usually held before the Masters and invited only the top eight men's tennis players in the world according to their rankings on the ATP poll. In 1985, creator & founder 24-year-old Leo E. Fenn III partnered with 28-year-old Mark Myden to form a company called Special Events Productions. SEP produced the "Challenge of Champions" Tournament which became a major player in professional tennis. These two entrepreneurs became the youngest producers in history of professional tennis. Leo & Mark acquired major fortune 500 corporate sponsors such as AT&T, VISA, Cadillac, Fila Sportswear, DeBeers Diamonds as well as negotiated two days of live weekend television coverage on NBC. Their title sponsorship package sold to AT&T was the largest single vent sponsorship package in professional tennis that year. Leo negotiated with the brand new Thomas Mack Center Arena in Las Vegas to host the inaugural event. The event rights were eventually sold to Pro Serve and concluded following the 1989 Challenge.

Past winners and runners-up[edit]

Year
Dates
Venue
Prize Money
Champion
Runner-up
Score in final
Surface
1989 Apr 26-30 Atlanta
$1,200,000
United States Andre Agassi United States Michael Chang 6–3, 6–2 Green Clay
1988 Apr 28-May 1 Atlanta
$1,200,000
Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl Sweden Stefan Edberg 2–6, 6–1, 6–3 Green Clay
1987 Oct 6-11 Atlanta
$1,200,000
United States John McEnroe United States Paul Annacone 6–4, 7–5 Indoor Carpet
1986 *Nov 25-30 1986 Atlanta
$1,200,000
Germany Boris Becker United States John McEnroe 3–6, 6–3, 7–5 Indoor Carpet
1985 Jan 6-12 1986 Las Vegas
$1,000,000
Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl United States Jimmy Connors 6–2, 6–3 Indoor Carpet
  • Held twice during the 1986 calendar year like the Nabisco Masters

References[edit]

External links[edit]