Courier to start circuit for players 30 and older

HOUSTON -- Hall of Famer Jim Courier is starting the
Champions Cup Series, a circuit of U.S. tennis tournaments for
players 30 and older.

"I like a challenge and to compete, and this is a way to
compete," Courier said Tuesday in a conference call.

The former No. 1 player and four-time major champion retired
from tournament tennis at age 29 in 2000. Other participants are
expected to include John McEnroe, Michael Chang, Goran Ivanisevic,
Todd Martin and Mats Wilander.

One player who hasn't signed up: 14-time Grand Slam winner Pete

"I can't tell you what Pete will do. I can tell you that he's
interested in what's happening here, he's very well aware, and he
has an open invitation to compete," Courier said. "If he decides
to, we would love to have him."

The first event starts Thursday in Houston, and there are four
tournaments lined up for 2006: at Naples, Fla. (March 9-12), Boston
(April 27-30), Memphis (Oct. 5-8) and Houston (Nov. 9-12).

To compete, a player must have reached a Grand Slam singles
final, been ranked in the top five, or played singles on a Davis
Cup championship team.

Noting that McEnroe is in his mid-40s, Courier said there won't
be a cap on how old players can be.

"There is no ceiling. Competition is the ceiling. If you're no
longer competitive, then you won't be out here," Courier said.