| By New York Tennis Magazine Staff

Pete Sampras defeated Jim Courier Thursday at the HSBC Tennis cup finals, 8-6, the opening match of the 2011 Champions Series. This gives Sampras a lead on the $1 million bonus prize for the top three at the end of the season.

Courier defeated Jimmy Connors, who took an 11-year hiatus from competitive play, 7-5, to advance to the finals. Sampras defeated Michael Chang in the semifinals to take on Courier in the finals. Sampras broke Courier's serve at five-all to take a late lead in the set which led him to victory.