Fort Lauderdale: Pete Sampras beat Jim Courier 8-6 in the finals on Thursday night of the HSBC Tennis Cup, the opening event of the 2011 Champions Series.
The victory gives Sampras the early lead in the series that has a $1 million bonus pool for the top three finishers on the circuit at the end of the season.
The eight-game pro set final was tied at five before Sampras broke Courier's serve, then held his own to go ahead 7-5 and they split the next two games.
Courier reached the finals with a 7-5 win over Jimmy Connors, who returned to competitive tennis for the first time in 11 years.
Sampras beat Michael Chang 6-4 in the semifinals.