February 26, 2017

Taste of Tennis Comes to Indian Wells

INDIAN WELLS, CA –– AYS Sports Marketing is pleased to announce it will host the popular Taste of Tennis event on Monday, March 6, 2017, at Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa. The Taste will feature California native and James Beard Award Winning Chef, Jonathan Waxman and hosted by Chef Chris Mitchum. Taste of Tennis is widely regarded as tennis’ premier “off the court” experience. Key sponsors include: Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort, City of Indian Wells, Tourism Authority of Thailand, North Shore Living Herbs, Voss, ChefWorks & Volkl.

For updates and to purchase tickets, visit www.tasteoftennis.com/iw

 

MIAMI, FL –– AYS Sports Marketing is pleased to announce Citi has joined us as the Title sponsor! The Citi Taste of Tennis will be hosted at W Miami on Monday, March 20, 2017. We are excited to bring the event to Brickell and enjoy a rooftop party! Our premier sponsors include: Citibank, W Miami, Lifeway Kefir, ChefWorks, Voss & Volkl.

To purchase tickets or updates, visit www.cititasteoftennis.com

 

 

New York, NY – AYS Sports Marketing will be hosting our Taste of Tennis events from August 22- 25, 2017. For the past 18 years, Taste of Tennis has
kicked off Tennis in New York City: Meet a player, enjoy cuisine by a celebrity chef, learn how to make a pre-match meal, play ping pong with a pro and more! The events feature incredible talent alongside New York’s culinary and hotel venues. Key Sponsors include: Jamaica Tourist Board,
Lifeway Kefir, ChefWorks, Voss & Volkl.

To purchase tickets or to learn more, visit www.tasteoftennis.com/nyc

 

17th Annual Taste Of Tennis To Feature Rafael Nadal

Second Annual Taste of Tennis Miami Takes Place on March 21, 2016

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Powershares Series at Connecticut Open to Feature Blake, Chang McEnroe and Philippousis

TENNIS HALL OF FAMERS MICHAEL CHANG AND JOHN MCENROE TAKE ON FAIRFIELD’S JAMES BLAKE AND DEFENDING CHAMPION MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS IN POWERSHARES SERIES AT 2017 CONNECTICUT OPEN PRESENTED BY UNITED TECHNOLOGIES

 

Tickets For 2017 Connecticut Open Go On Sale In March

 

NEW HAVEN, Conn., February 7, 2017 – Tennis Hall of Fame inductees Michael Chang and John McEnroe will face Fairfield’s James Blake and defending champion Mark Philippoussis in a PowerShares Series event – the circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30 – at the 2017 Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies, to be held August 18-26, at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale, it was announced today by Tournament Director Anne Worcester.

 

The Connecticut Open Men’s Legends Event, which began three years ago, is an official part of the PowerShares Series. McEnroe, Blake and Philippoussis returned to New Haven in 2016, while Chang will make his New Haven debut in the PowerShares Series. On Thursday, August 24, following the women’s quarterfinal, Chang will play Blake, and on Friday, August 25, following the WTA semifinal, McEnroe will take on Philippoussis, with the winners of each matchup competing in a final on Friday night. The men’s matches will be one set each.

 

The youngest ATP World Tour player to win a Grand Slam Singles Title, Chang returns to New Haven for the first time since 1995. Chang, who earned a career-high ranking of No. 2 in the world, won the 1989 French Open crown at 17 years old and won 34 singles titles on the ATP World Tour. Inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2008, Chang is the current coach of World No. 5 Kei Nishikori.

 

“I have fond memories playing in the City of New Haven, and I look forward to coming back and participating in the PowerShares Series at the Connecticut Open,” said Chang. “The Connecticut Tennis Center is a great venue with tremendous fans, and it will be fun to compete against Fairfield native James Blake. Hopefully I can make the final and get a chance against McEnroe or Philippoussis and win the event.”

 

McEnroe, a seven-time Grand Slam singles and nine-time Grand Slam Doubles Champion, will be returning to New Haven for the third consecutive year. McEnroe boasts more than 150 singles and doubles championships in his career, and, in 1984, had one of the greatest seasons in the history of tennis when he won two majors (Wimbledon, US Open), 13 of 15 singles tournaments, and compiled an 82-3 record for the year, the best year-long winning percentage on the ATP World Tour. McEnroe was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1999.

 

Blake is a two-time Connecticut Open Champion, earning 10 singles and seven doubles titles on the ATP World Tour. The Fairfield Connecticut native returns to play in the Legends event for the third consecutive year. Philippoussis, a former top 10 player with 11 singles and three doubles titles in his career, returns for a second straight year. The Australian defeated 2017 International Hall of Fame inductee Andy Roddick and Blake to win the PowerShares Series at New Haven last year.

 

“The Legends Event is a fan-favorite at the Connecticut Open, and we strive to welcome some of the greatest players in the history of the game to New Haven each year,” said Worcester. “The Hall of Famers continue to flock to New Haven, as Michael Chang joins John McEnroe this year following 2017 Hall of Fame inductee Andy Roddick’s appearance in last year’s event. James Blake obviously has a huge following in Connecticut and Mark Philippoussis, who won the event last year, can still play electric tennis. We’re extremely happy with this year’s PowerShares Series lineup and look forward to another great event in New Haven.”

 

Fans can guarantee the best to the Legends matches by purchasing a weeklong or multiple session package. 2017 Connecticut Open ticket options include:

 

After Hours (Aug. 21-26) – Every evening session, including all Legends matches, and Saturday afternoon (WTA Finals)

 

Final 4 (Aug. 24-26) – Thursday evening (Quarterfinal/Legends), Friday day and evening (WTA Semifinals/Legends), and Saturday (WTA Finals)

 

Pick 4 (Aug. 20-24) – Choice of four early round sessions including Thursday evening (WTA Quarterfinal/Legends)

 

For those looking to see all 14 sessions of incredible women’s tennis plus both Legends matches, weeklong box seats are available and provide significant savings and a host of benefits.

 

For more information about the 2017 Connecticut Open, including multi-session packages, weeklong box seats, sponsorship packages, hospitality and becoming a volunteer, visit www.ctopen.org or call 203-776-7331. Daily tickets for the tournament will be on sale starting March 20.

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Powershares Series Schedule Announced

2014 PowerShares QQQ Tennis Tour Rings The NASDAQ Stock Market Closing Bell

POWERSHARES SERIES FULL SCHEDULE FOR 2017 ANNOUNCED

(February 7, 2017) LOS ANGELES – PowerShares Series Tennis, the circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30, announced its full 2017 circuit of events starting March 30 in Toronto, Canada.

The 2017 PowerShares Series will also again partner alongside ATP and WTA events in Charleston, S.C., Newport, R.I., Winston-Salem, N.C., and New Haven, Conn. The series of one-night tournaments, featuring two one-set semifinal matches and a one-set final-round match played between tennis legends, will feature for a third straight year players making their own line-calls with the assistance of electronic line-calling.

The full 2017 PowerShares Series schedule, with player fields, is as follows:

* March 30: Toronto, ON (Ricoh Coliseum) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish, Mark Philippoussis
* April 1: Charleston, S.C. (Family Circle Tennis Center) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, James Blake, Mark Philippoussis
* April 28: Birmingham, AL (Legacy Arena At The BJCC) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mardy Fish
* May 17: Chicago, IL (UIC Pavilion) – John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis
* July 23 Newport, R.I. (International Tennis Hall of Fame) – Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake, Mardy Fish
* August 20 Winston-Salem, N.C. (Wake Forest University) – Andy Roddick, James Blake, Michael Chang, Mardy Fish
* August 24, 25 New Haven, CT (Yale University) – John McEnroe, Michael Chang, James Blake, Mark Philippoussis
* Lincoln, NE (Pinnacle Bank Arena) – to be announced
* Los Angeles, CA (Sherwood Country Club) – to be announced
* Nashville, TN (Bridgestone Arena) – to be announced

Each PowerShares Series event also features special VIP experiences, including hit-with-the-pros opportunities and special back-stage access. All ticket, experience and event information can be found at www.PowerSharesSeries.com.

Mark Philippoussis won the 2016 PowerShares Series season championship with tournament victories in Memphis, Tulsa, Newport, Winston-Salem and New Haven. Andy Roddick won four events during the 2016 season in St. Louis, Charleston, Los Angeles and Orlando, followed in third place by James Blake, who won titles in Chicago, Portland and Brooklyn. In 2015, Roddick won the PowerShares Series points title in his second year of competing on the series winning a record eight events in Los Angeles, Lincoln, Chicago, Austin, Little Rock, Dallas, Richmond and Minneapolis. The year before in 2014, McEnroe won the points title for the first time in the history of Champions Series tennis by winning events in Kansas City, Indianapolis, Nashville and Charlotte.

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Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt added to BNP Paribas Showdown at MSG

Andy Roddick

New York, NY (January 16, 2017) – Tennis legends Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt will join the star-studded lineup for the 10th anniversary of the BNP Paribas Showdown on Monday, March 6, it was announced today.   Roddick and Hewitt will join Juan Martin del Potro, Kei Nishikori, Venus Williams, Garbiñe Muguruza, Nick Kyrgios and Jack Sock in the annual tennis showcase at Madison Square Garden, which coincides with “World Tennis Day” activities.

 

Hewitt, who announced his retirement from the professional tour last January, is back to renew his rivalry with fellow veteran Roddick who retired after the 2012 US Open.  The two former World No. 1 players have produced a combined 62 tournament wins which includes Hewitt’s Grand Slam titles at the 2001 US Open and 2002 Wimbledon Championships, as well as Roddick’s Grand Slam victory at the 2002 US Open.

 

“I played the World Tennis Day event in Hong Kong a few years ago and love the concept of a worldwide celebration of tennis,” said Hewitt.  “I am really excited about playing Andy at Madison Square Garden which is one of the great venues for our sport. Should be an exciting night for everyone.”

 

“Playing at Madison Square Garden is a bucket list item for any entertainer, especially for a tennis player … that’s normally saved for rock stars and basketball players,” added Roddick.  “To play Roger there in 2012, it was such an amazing atmosphere … when I got the invite to come back, I was going to do everything I could to make that a reality.”

 

The two are tied at seven wins each in head-to-head competition.  Hewitt will make his Madison Square Garden debut while Roddick returns to the BNP Paribas Showdown for the second time.

 

Roddick and Hewitt will square off in an action-packed night that also features del Potro, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist taking on No. 5 Nishikori, while former world No. 1 Venus Williams squares off against French Open champion, Muguruza.  Kyrgios and Sock will provide a glimpse of what the future has in store for tennis fans when they take to the Garden court.

 

Over the course of its decade at Madison Square Garden, the BNP Paribas Showdown has become a must-see event, from superstar Pete Sampras showing a younger Roger Federer he can still play in the inaugural matchup in 2008, to last year’s electrifying performances by Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Stan Wawrinka and Gael Monfils.  The event has also hosted a who’s who in the world of tennis, including: Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Andre Agassi, Ivan Lendl, Mike and Bob Bryan, John and Patrick McEnroe, Maria Sharapova, Kim Clijsters, Victoria Azarenka, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic, Monica Seles and Gabriela Sabatini.

 

The 10th anniversary BNP Paribas Showdown is produced by MSG Sports and GF Sports. Tickets start at $35.00 and are currently on-sale. They can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden box office, online at www.thegarden.com and at all Ticketmaster outlets.

 

The BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden will once again headline a full day of nationwide activities as part of “World Tennis Day,” a global tennis participation effort. All events promote tailoring the game to players 10-and-under with smaller racquets, lighter balls and modified scoring.

 

 

 

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Blake Beats McEnroe To Win 2016 PowerShares Season Finale In Brooklyn

Blake Beats McEnroe To Win 2016 PowerShares Season Finale In Brooklyn

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — James Blake defeated John McEnroe 6-4 to win the PowerShares QQQ Cup Saturday at the Barclays Center, the 12th and final event on the 2016 PowerShares Series, the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30.

The tournament title was Blake’s third on the PowerShares Series for the 2016 season, also winning the opening event in Chicago in April and in Portland, Oregon in November. The PowerShares QQQ Cup was the first tennis event ever at the Barclays Center, the home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and NHL’s New York Islanders. The event was also the first pro tennis event in Brooklyn since Bill Tilden won the 1935 U.S. Open Pro Championships at the Terrace Club in the Flatbush area of the borough.

The final had a hard New York feel as McEnroe has lived in New York City his entire life and Blake being a local favorite having been born in nearby Yonkers and grew up in the tri-state area in nearby Fairfield, Connecticut.

“I don’t think I have ever played more of a New Yorker in New York than myself since I was born here,” said Blake of playing against McEnroe, who had the majority of the crowd behind him, including his students from the nearby John McEnroe Tennis Academy on Randall’s Island and his wife Patty and brother Mark among other family members. “It makes sense to cheer for John McEnroe. He has done so much for this city and so much for this sport. If I’m not playing against him, I’m in the stands cheering for him too.”

The turning point in the match came at the third deuce point at 4-4 when the 37-year-old Blake ripped a backhand up the line passing shot off a McEnroe half volley to set up break point. He then hit another down-the-line backhand return-of-serve that forced a McEnroe half-volley error to break serve. Blake then benefited from two missed backhands from the 57-year-old McEnroe while connecting on two forehand winners to close out the win.

“I was just praying that he would miss a few first serves at the end,” said Blake, who was born four months after McEnroe won his first major singles title at the 1979 U.S. Open. “I was trying to get chances early on, but he erased them all with good serves. I pray that I can serve that well at 57 years old, or moving or anything he is doing this well at 57. I am just happy to get through it. I got a little lucky at the end and took advantage of my one chance on his serve.”

To reach the final, Blake defeated former U.S. Davis Cup teammate Andy Roddick 6-4 in the first semifinal, while McEnroe defeated Jim Courier 6-3.

Blake earned 400 PowerShares ranking points with the win to finish the season in third place with 1100 ranking points. Both Roddick and Mark Philippoussis finished the 2016 PowerShares Series season with 1600 ranking point totals, using their best four tournament results. However, Philippoussis is declared the season champion winning the tiebreaker with the better head-to-head record between the two, beating Roddick five times during the season, with Roddick only able to beat Philippoussis in the final of Thousand Oaks, California in October.

Each PowerShares Series event features two one-set semifinal matches and a one-set championship match and, for the second straight year, players make their own line calls with assistance of electronic line-calling.

The full 2016 PowerShares Series list of events and final-round results are as follows;

Chicago – James Blake def. John McEnroe 6-4

Charleston, SC – Andy Roddick def. Andre Agassi 6-1

St. Louis – Andy Roddick def. John McEnroe 6-3

Memphis – Mark Philippoussis def. Jim Courier 6-3

Tulsa – Mark Philippoussis def. Jim Courier 6-3

Newport, RI – Mark Philippoussis def. Marat Safin 6-4

Winston-Salem – Mark Philippoussis def. Andy Roddick 6-3

New Haven, CT – Mark Philippoussis def. James Blake 6-2

Portland, OR – James Blake def. Andy Roddick 7-5

Los Angeles – Andy Roddick def. Mark Philippoussis 6-2

Orlando – Andy Roddick def. Jim Courier 6-4

Brooklyn – James Blake def. John McEnroe 6-4

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Venus Williams, Muguruza, del Potro, Nishikori, Kyrgios and Sock to play BNP Paribas Showdown at MSG

Venus Williams

Venus Williams

 

CELEBRATION OF TENNIS TO HIGHLIGHT 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF

BNP PARIBAS SHOWDOWN AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN ON

MONDAY, MARCH 6, 2017

 

EVENT TO FEATURE JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO,

KEI NISHIKORI, VENUS WILLIAMS, GARBIÑE MUGURUZA,

NICK KYRGIOS AND JACK SOCK

 

TICKETS ON-SALE MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2016

 

New York, NY (October 26, 2016) – The 10th anniversary of the BNP Paribas Showdown will bring past, current and future stars to the Madison Square Garden court for a night of tennis on Monday, March 6, The Madison Square Garden Company and GF Sports announced today.   Juan Martin del Potro, Kei Nishikori, Venus Williams, Garbiñe Muguruza, Nick Kyrgios, Jack Sock and a legends matchup to be named later, will square off in the 10th anniversary edition of the annual tennis showcase.

 

Del Potro, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist will take on world No. 5 Nishikori, while former world No. 1 Venus Williams will square off against reigning French Open champion, Muguruza.  Kyrgios and Sock, two exciting young stars on the rise, will provide a glimpse of what the future has in store for tennis fans.

 

Over the course of its decade at Madison Square Garden, the BNP Paribas Showdown has become a must-see event, from superstar Pete Sampras showing a younger Roger Federer he can still play in the inaugural matchup in 2008, to last year’s electrifying performances by Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Stan Wawrinka and Gael Monfils.  The event has also hosted a who’s who in the world of tennis, including: Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Andre Agassi, Ivan Lendl, Mike and Bob Bryan, John and Patrick McEnroe, Maria Sharapova, Kim Clijsters, Victoria Azarenka, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic, Monica Seles and Gabriela Sabatini.

 

The BNP Paribas Showdown is produced by MSG Sports and GF Sports. Tickets start at $35.00 and will go on-sale Monday, October 31. They can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden box office, online at www.thegarden.com and at all Ticketmaster outlets.  The event will start at 7:00 pm on Monday, March 6.

 

“Since 2008, playing the Showdown at The Garden has become a ‘must’ amongst the biggest stars in the game, and as we celebrate the 10th Showdown we’re looking forward to another special night of tennis,” said Joel Fisher, executive vice president, Marquee Events/Operations, The Madison Square Garden Company.  “The Showdown has continually entertained thousands of tennis fans and provided many lasting moments.  And, how can we forget Ben Stiller, Rory McIllroy and Redfoo taking to the Garden court? You never know what or who you’ll see when tennis comes to The World’s Most Famous Arena.”

 

“It is incredible to think this will be our 10th Showdown,” said Showdown creator, Jerry Solomon. “We have been fortunate to have had just about every tennis superstar of the last 30 years play at Madison Square Garden, and this year will be no different, with our compelling slate of great players spanning eras. And we’ll also be including some twists on the traditional tennis format that will allow fans to see more action than ever before in a more compact schedule. On March 6, the BNP Paribas Showdown and The Garden will once again be the place to be for the most exciting tennis.”

 

Nishikori, currently ranked No. 5 in the world, is the only male Japanese player to ever be ranked in the top 10.  He has compiled 11 singles titles and was a finalist in the 2014 US Open, making him the first Asian player to compete in a Grand Slam singles final.

 

2009 US Open champion del Potro returns to Madison Square Garden for his second appearance at the BNP Paribas Showdown.  The 6’-6” Argentine, who is playing strong and blazing the comeback trail after three wrist operations that sidelined his career, is currently ranked No. 42 and just recently captured the Stockholm Open for his first ATP Tour title since 2014.

Williams, arguably one of the greatest female players of all time, is a seven-time Grand Slam champion, five-time Wimbledon Champion, four-time Olympic gold medalist, and winner of 49 singles titles.  She is currently ranked No. 15 and will be making her third Showdown appearance.

Current world No. 6 Muguruza beat Serena Williams in the finals of the 2016 French Open to capture her first Grand Slam title.  She holds 10 career singles titles and was runner up at the 2015 Wimbledon Championships. She will make her Madison Square Garden debut as she tries to beat Venus Williams for the first time in four attempts.

 

Two rising ATP Tour stars, Sock and Kyrgios, will compete in their first ever match-up at Madison Square Garden.  Kyrgios, ranked No. 13, was listed as the No. 1 World Junior in 2013, and has already recorded several top 10 wins, including against world No. 3 Stan Wawrinka at an ATP Masters 1000 tournament earlier this year.  He will play Sock, one of the top-ranked American players at world No. 22.  Sock is a former junior US Open champion and has been in three finals on the ATP Tour.

 

The BNP Paribas Showdown will apply several new innovative formats currently being experimented in the world of tennis to help speed up the game.  The format enhancements will make the Showdown an even more fast-paced, exciting event for the fans.

 

The BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden will once again headline a full day of worldwide activities as part of “World Tennis Day,” a global tennis participation effort. All events promote tailoring the game to players 10-and-under with kid-friendly efforts including smaller racquets, lighter balls and modified scoring.

 

Additional information on the event will be released at a later date.

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Maria Sharapova to play WTT Smash Hits at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on October 10

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

New York, N.Y. (October 5, 2016) Maria Sharapova will be back on the court for the first time since her ban,  when she makes her World TeamTennis Smash Hits debut at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on October 1oth.

Sharapova will be playing in the charity event for the first time in its 24-year history. WTT Smash Hits, which is co-hosted by Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King, raises funds for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Sharapova joins an all-star field that includes John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Martina Navratilova, Mardy Fish and Mark Philippoussis. Another new addition to the field is former world No. 1 doubles player Liezel Huber.

 

“I am really excited to get back on the court for a great cause,” said the five-time major  winner Sharapova in a press release. “I have been wanting to play this event for Billie and Elton for a long time so I am looking forward to a great night of tennis.”

 

 

Since 1993, WTT Smash Hits has raised more than $14 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and local AIDS charities. Caesars Palace, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is also home to Elton John’s hit show, “The Million Dollar Piano.”

 

Captained by King and John, the players will form two teams and play a WTT match featuring singles and doubles action. The music legend is expected to participate in a celebrity doubles match to open the event. Last year, Team Elton took a 12-11 edge in the overall series with a 17-11 win over Team Billie Jean.

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Official Fan Appreciation Sale to be held September 12-13 at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

OFFICIAL US OPEN

FAN APPRECIATION SALE

TO BE HELD MONDAY & TUESDAY

AT USTA BILLIE JEAN KING

NATIONAL TENNIS CENTER

NEW YORK – A US Open Fan Appreciation Sale will be held on Monday, Sept. 12 and Tuesday, Sept. 13 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.  The 50% off  Fan Appreciation Sale, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, applies to all products remaining at the US Open. Entrance to the sale is located at the East Gate located next to parking lot B.

Fanatics, in association with the United States Tennis Association, produces the exclusive US Open Collection,” which features the 2016 US Open logo.

The sale does not apply toward US Open products or merchandise sold by telephone or on the worldwide web.

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The USTA Becomes a Partner in the Laver Cup

ustalogo

Flushing Meadows, NY, September 9 — The USTA today announced that the organization has become a partner in the Laver Cup, the new annual men’s team tennis competition named in honor of tennis legend Rod Laver.  They will team up with event creators TEAM8, Tennis Australia and Jorge Paulo Lemann in this new endeavor.

The Laver Cup is a three-day team competition pitting a team of six of the best tennis players from Europe against six of their counterparts from the rest of the world.  For the first three years Bjorn Borg will captain team Europe and John McEnroe will lead The World.  Both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have committed to compete in the inaugural Laver Cup, which will take place from September 22-24, 2017, at the O2 arena, in Prague, Czech Republic.

Organizers announced their commitment to hold the second Laver Cup in 2018 in the United States at a site to be determined.  The event will return to the U.S. on a rotating basis. 

“Sports truly transcends borders,” said USTA Chairman of the Board and President Katrina Adams.  “We believe the Laver Cup will become one of the pre-eminent tennis events in the sport and will bring an exciting new tennis competition to U.S. fans.”

“We are pleased to welcome the USTA as a partner in the Laver Cup, and to announce that the 2018 Laver Cup will be held in the USA,” said Tony Godsick, CEO of TEAM8.  “The USTA adds experience and resources to the team that will benefit tennis fans around the world.”

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VDROP Launches US Open Crowdfunding Campaign with Top American Players to Benefit First Break

First Break (Pam Shriver) LR

(AUGUST 30, 2016) NEW YORK – With the 2016 US Open Tennis Championships hitting the courts this week in Flushing, new mobile application platform VDROP (http://vdrop.com/) has teamed-up with the First Break Academy (First Break) (http://www.first1break.com/) and top American US Open tennis stars to put on an entertaining crowdfunding campaign that will benefit the award-winning grassroots outreach program headquartered in Los Angeles.

 

Participating in the series of high-profile video challenges taking place on VDROP are Greatest Doubles Team of All-Time Bob and Mike Bryan, #1 American ATP World Tour Singles Player Stevie Johnson and top American WTA stars Christina McHale and Nicole Gibbs. Through VDROP’s new mobile application platform, tennis fans can engage with the entertaining video content between the players and then crowdfund each challenge they want to see completed in order to raise money for First Break.

 

“From the outset, we have been driven to create a more intimate experience for fans and their heroes,” said Mark John, Founder of VDROP.  “This partnership with First Break is so exciting for us as we get to create connections with some of the world’s great tennis players and their fans whilst serving those in need.”

 

With a mission to empower kids and positively impact their futures by championing access to excellent tennis programs featuring multi-sport play activities and academic enrichment, 100% of the proceeds from the VDROP campaign will go to First Break.

 

Serving on the advisory board of First Break is former WTA Tour doubles specialist and ESPN Tennis commentator, Pam Shriver, in addition to International Sports Science Speaker and Performance Physiologist, Researcher and Coach Mark Kovacs, PhD, Founder and CEO of Top Notch Management Sam Duvall, and University of Southern California Men’s Tennis Coach, Peter Smith. The Governing Board for First Break Academy includes ATP Tour Coach Craig Boynton who has been working with Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson over the last year.

 

“We set out to get to know the kids going to school in the neighborhood surrounding our facility at StubHub Center because we’d like to introduce new families to the game that has given us so much,” said Marc Lucero, First Break’s Fundraising Chair and Tennis Development Advisor, and WTA Tour Coach. “Tennis is transformative; no doubt, the game has offered me a lot personally. All of us at First Break are intent on sharing this opportunity. It’s only natural to want to do all we can for the kids who are now cheering when they see the nets on campus.”

 

The RAMP tennis outreach initiative that has evolved into First Break grew out of the belief that an early break can have a lifetime of meaning, and sports provide a universal platform that breaks through barriers and invaluable life skills like teamwork, leadership, and integrity. In the spirit of asking, “What else?” First Break is working to sustain the momentum started by RAMP outreach so more children can experience the lifelong benefits of tennis. The programs offered by First Break Academy reflect the community they serve and are designed in collaboration with experienced educators and tennis development coaches.

 

“The Rio Games opened the eyes of sports fans around the world to so many great things. Countless Olympians reaped the benefits of playing multiple sports as children; sports like basketball and soccer develop skills that translate to tennis and vice versa,” added Pam Shriver of the First Break Advisory Board. “By providing urban youth access to tennis in a multisport environment, we give tennis the opportunity to sell itself and know that kids will fall in love with our great game.”

 

In the last few years, First Break has had over 400 urban children introduced to tennis through monthly RAMP Tennis Outreach PE classes taught by volunteer coaches, parents, junior players, and friends of the game. The grassroots effort led to more than 600 hours of donated tennis instruction on the playground, 60 local first to seventh grade kids from two schools have participated in First Break MultiSport tennis and education programs at the RAMP courts at StubHub Center, home of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Player Development-West and the LA Galaxy. The emphasis on multisport activities is based on a belief that the social, physical and mental benefits of participating in a diversity of sports is more advantageous to the choice of early single sports specialization for young athletes.

 

First Break has received awards from the USTA Foundation, Women’s Sports Foundation, LA84 Foundation SCTA/NJTL (Southern California Tennis Association/National Junior Tennis League), USTA Diversity & Inclusion, PTR Foundation and the WAATC (Women’s All-American Tennis Championships).

 

A revolutionary platform changing the way a growing community of celebrities, athletes and artists interact with their fans, VDROP is giving fans the ability to send them a personal, one-on-one video request of anything they want to see them to do along with a financial offer for it.  VDROP is the first mobile application solution to monetize the social media relationship between celebrities, professional athletes and their fans in a fun, meaningful and emotional way. Currently, top ten ATP World Tour Singles Player Tomas Berdych serves as VDROP’s sports ambassador and was an early adopter of the platform.

 

For more information on VDROP, visit www.vdrop.com or download the mobile app VDROP to view the campaign challenges and crowdfund them to support First Break.

 

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