2014/04/16

Charlie Pasarell Receives Hall of Fame Ring

 Left to right: Hall of Famers Mark Woodforde, Donald Dell, Butch Buchholz, Rosie Casals, Bud Collins, Roy Emerson, Brad Parks, Rod Laver, Hall of Fame President Stan Smith, Hall of Fame Chairman Christopher Clouser, Hall of Famer Charlie Pasarell, Hall of Fame CEO Mark Stenning, BNP Paribas Open Tournament Director Steve Simon, Charles Pasarell, Sr., and BNP Paribas CEO Ray Moore. Photo by Billie Weiss


Left to right: Hall of Famers Mark Woodforde, Donald Dell, Butch Buchholz, Rosie Casals, Bud Collins, Roy Emerson, Brad Parks, Rod Laver, Hall of Fame President Stan Smith, Hall of Fame Chairman Christopher Clouser, Hall of Famer Charlie Pasarell, Hall of Fame CEO Mark Stenning, BNP Paribas Open Tournament Director Steve Simon, Charles Pasarell, Sr., and BNP Paribas CEO Ray Moore. Photo by Billie Weiss

By Kevin Ware

(March 14, 2014) INDIAN WELLS – As tournament director and managing partner, Charlie Pasarell was instrumental in helping to build the Indian Wells tournament into the world-class event it has become. So it was more than fitting that he received his official International Tennis Hall of Fame ring last night on the Stadium 1 court, in front of an adoring crowd, before the start of the evening session.

Pasarell was inducted into the Hall of Fame last summer. But the International Tennis Hall of Fame has a wonderful tradition of presenting the ring at a home location that affords the best opportunity for the inductee to be surrounded by as many family and friends as possible.

The stadium ring ceremony was a public affair. The celebration dinner afterward, emceed by Pam Shriver, was much more intimate; attended by some Pasarell’s immediate family, as well as his extended family in the tennis community.

Also on hand were several other Hall of Fame members, many of whom spoke glowingly about their friend and fellow-inductee. Those in attendance included Hall of Fame President Stan Smith, Donald Dell, Bud Collins (pants as colorful as ever), Butch Buchholz, Brad Parks, Rosie Casals, Billie Jean King, Roy Emerson, and Mark Woodforde.

Pasarell, with his father and son looking on, was just as moved by this moment as he was at his official induction in Newport. After an encore viewing of his video tribute, and hearing the touching tributes of his friends, it was obvious to see how touched he was by this moment.

Looking out at the familiar faces, his voice at times struggling to control his emotion, Charlie offered a simple, “Thanks to all my friends who are here today. I’m touched by all the support.”

Kevin Ware is in Indian Wells covering the BNP Paribas Open for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his live updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN.  Follow his personal twitter @SFTennisFreak.

Photos from the private party held before the ceremony.

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Billie Jean King’s Mother Passes

(February 7, 2014) Betty Moffitt, the mother of tennis hall of famer Billie Jean King and former major league pitcher Randy Moffitt, passed away on Friday in Prescott, Arizona at the age of 91.

Due to her 91-year-old mother’s illness, Billie Jean King did not attend Friday’s opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics in Russia.

King who is openly gay, was chosen by President Barack Obama was to help lead the U.S. delegation to the Olympic Games, has spoken against Russia’s anti-gay law.  Former U.S. hockey player Caitlin Cahow will take King’s place,

Kin’s father Bill Moffitt died in 2006, the very year the U.S. tennis center that hosts the U.S. Open in New York was renamed for King.

The family will have private services. Instead of flowers, the family would like donation made to Hospice Family Care, 100 E. Sheldon Street, Suite 100, Prescott, AZ 86301.

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Billie Jean King to Miss Sochi Opening Ceremony Due to Mother’s Illness

Billie Jean King and NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg

Billie Jean King and NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg

(February 5, 2014) Due to her 91-year-old mother’s illness, Billie Jean King will not attend Friday’s opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics in Russia.

King who is openly gay, was chosen by President Barack Obama was to help lead the U.S. delegation to the Olympic Games, has spoken against Russia’s anti-gay law.  Former U.S. hockey player Caitlin Cahow will take King’s place,

King told The Associated Press that because of her mother’s “failing health, I will not be able to join the U.S. Presidential delegation at this week’s opening ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics.”

“It is important for me to be with my mother and my brother at this difficult time. I want to thank President Obama for including me in this historic mission and I look forward to supporting our athletes as they compete in Sochi.”

The 70-year-old tennis Hall of Famer King, won 39 Grand Slam titles in her career.

“The President extends his thoughts and prayers to Ms. King and her family in this difficult time,” said in a statement from The White House.

 

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Roddick leads Team Elton to victory at Mylan WTT Smash Hits

(L-R)Andy Roddick, Elton John, Mickey Mouse , Billie Jean King and Venus Williams Photo by Camerawork USA

(L-R)Andy Roddick, Elton John, Mickey Mouse , Billie Jean King and Venus Williams Photo by Camerawork USA

(Nov. 17, 2013) ORLANDO, Fla.  – Mylan WTT Smash Hits returned to the Orlando area for the first time since 1997 on Sunday evening, raising more than $700,000 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and local charities.

 

Team Elton defeated Team Billie Jean 24-18 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort to take an 11-10 lead in the overall series.  Andy Roddick, who was making his 11th event appearance, won three sets including men’s singles over John Isner to help Team Elton seal the victory.

 

“He’s phenomenal,” John said of Roddick. “We miss him on the tour because he’s such a personality. He’s doing so well. He came out and did it tonight.”

 

A portion of tonight’s proceeds will go towards the Hope and Help Center of Central Florida.  The annual event, co-hosted by Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King, has now raised more the $12 million to support HIV and AIDS prevention and awareness programs since the first event in 1993. Robert and Tricia Earl served as local hosts of tonight’s Mylan WTT Smash Hits.

 

The evening began with a celebrity Battle of the Sexes set, pitting Elton John and Roddick against Venus Williams and Marion Bartoli. John and Roddick won the entertaining set 4-3.

 

The celebrity set didn’t count towards the overall match score, but it got Team Elton off on the winning track.  Roddick partnered teammate Robert Kendrick to a 5-4 win against Team Billie Jean’s Isner and Jean-Julien Rojer to kick off the match.

 

Team Elton moved ahead 10-6 when Williams and Vicky Duval joined forces in women’s doubles for a 5-2 victory over Bartoli and Taylor Townsend. In women’s singles, Townsend won the showdown of top young Americans as she held off Duval for a 5-4 win, clinching the set on a deciding point with a net cord.

 

Team Elton built on their lead in the 4th set with a 5-3 win in mixed doubles as Roddick teamed with Duval to get past Townsend and Isner. Roddick then closed out the night by topping Isner 5-4 in men’s singles.

 

Before King and John’s teams battled it out on court, they went head-to-head in a live auction contest, raising $212,000. John’s squad took home honors by bringing in $126,000 of contributions.  Roddick stole the show when he took the microphone to auction off a private lesson, selling two sessions for $36,000 apiece. Billie Jean King’s Wimbledon package, featuring her own Centre Court seats to the 2014 ladies’ and gentlemen’s championship matches, sold for $25,000. Bartoli, the reigning Wimbledon ladies’ champion, subsequently offered up her personal tickets and the $25,000 was matched. Other auction items included an Elton John-signed piano bench, a hitting session with Bartoli, a Daytona 500 experience, tournament packages for the US Open and Indian Wells, and a Forevermark pendant and earrings.

 

Official sponsors include Mylan, GEICO, 1059 SUNNY FM, Adecco, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Alston & Bird LLP, ANZ, Bright House Media Strategies, Central Florida Press, Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP, Credit Suisse, DecoTurf, Fields Auto Group, Forevermark Diamond, Goldman Sachs, Kelley De & Warren LLP, Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP, Macy’s, McGuireWoods LLP, Orlando Magazine, Planet Hollywood Foundation, Presidio, Rakoczy Molino Mazzochi Siwik LLP, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Smart City, Wells Fargo Foundation, Wiley Rein LLP, Wilson, Wipro and Zebra Coalition.

 

Final Results: 

Mylan WTT Smash Hits presented by GEICO at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex At Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.

 

PRO-CELEB MATCH (didn’t count towards final match score):  Elton John / Andy Roddick def. Venus Williams / Marion Bartoli, 4-3

 

Team Elton def. Team Billie Jean 24-18

 

Men’s Doubles: Andy Roddick / Robert Kendrick (Team Elton) def. John Isner / Jean-Julien Rojer (Team Billie Jean) 5-4

 

Women’s Doubles: Venus Williams / Vicky Duval (Team Elton) def. Marion Bartoli / Taylor Townsend (Team Billie Jean) 5-2

 

Women’s Singles: Taylor Townsend (Team Billie Jean) def. Vicky Duval (Team Elton) 5-4

 

Mixed Doubles: Andy Roddick / Vicky Duval (Team Elton) def. John Isner / Taylor Townsend (Team Billie Jean) 5-3

 

Men’s Singles: Andy Roddick (Team Elton) def. John Isner (Team Billie Jean) 5-4

 

 

TEAM ELTON:

Elton John, Andy Roddick, Venus Williams, Vicky Duval, Robert Kendrick

 

TEAM BILLIE JEAN:

Billie Jean King, John Isner, Marion Bartoli, Taylor Townsend, Jean-Julien Rojer

 

For more information on Mylan WTT Smash Hits presented by GEICO, visit www.WTTSmashHits.com.

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Elton John and Andy Roddick to take on Venus Williams and Marion Bartoli in Battle of Sexes set for charity

wtt smash hits geico

(October 29, 2013) New York, N.Y.  – Billie Jean King made history 40 years ago when she beat Bobby Riggs in the famous Battle of the Sexes match.

 

There may not be as much at stake this time around but next month King’s longtime friend and Mylan WTT Smash Hits co-host Sir Elton John and former world No. 1 Andy Roddick are hoping to even the gender score when they take on two of tennis’ top female stars in a celebration of the original showdown and to raise funds for AIDS charities.

 

John and Roddick will face off against Venus Williams and 2013 Wimbledon Champion Marion Bartoli in a Battle of the Sexes celebrity doubles match to open up action at the 2013 Mylan WTT Smash Hits presented by GEICO on Sunday, Nov. 17 at the HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.

 

While most of the world knows John as a music superstar, he is also an avid tennis fan who plays frequently and wrote the song “Philadelphia Freedom” for King in the 1970s.  Over the past two decades, John and King have teamed up for Mylan WTT Smash Hits which has raised more than $11.5 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) and various local AIDS charities since 1993.  This year’s 21st annual event will benefit EJAF and the Hope and Help Center of Central Florida.  A portion of the funds raised at the pre-match VIP Reception and Auction will be specifically targeted for local programs.

 

John and King also announced the final two players for the Mylan WTT Smash Hits field – longtime New York Sportimes veteran Robert Kendrick and doubles world No. 15 Jean-Julien Rojer of the Springfield Lasers.  Rojer was also the 2013 Mylan WTT Male MVP.

 

With the player field full, the two hosts also selected their squads.  Team Elton will feature Roddick, Williams, Kendrick and rising young American Vicky Duval.  Team Billie Jean includes Bartoli, John Isner, former junior world No. 1 Taylor Townsend and Rojer.

 

The two teams will play a Mylan WTT match which includes one set each of men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles.   Isner and Roddick are expected to face off in a pivotal men’s singles showdown.

 

Tennis action is set for 6 p.m. ET with the pre-match VIP Reception and Auction kicking off at 4:30 p.m.  King and John have split the two-decade series with 10 wins each.  Team Billie Jean topped Team Elton last year in Pittsburgh, 19-17, in an Overtime thriller.

 

For more information on Mylan WTT Smash Hits presented by GEICO, visit www.WTTSmashHits.com.

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Billie Jean King, Mary Carillo Represent Tennis at Women’s Sports Foundation Awards

Mary Carillio

Mary Carillo

By Andrew Jones

(October 16, 2013) NEW YORK, NY – Despite the absence of the Williams sisters, Sloane Stephens, and Jamie Hampton to name a few, tennis was still represented at the 34th annual “Women in Sports” Awards, presented by the Women’s Sports Foundation Wednesday evening down on Wall Street. Billie Jean King and Mary Carillo were in attendance, as well as ESPN Wimbledon and U.S. Open host Hannah Storm. King founded the Women’s Sports Foundation back in 1974.

A slew of great women’s athletes, including Olympic legends Michelle Kwan, Sarah Hughes, Missy Franklin, Aimee Mullins and Nastia Liukin, along with greats such as Nancy Lieberman and Annika Sorenstam attended the event, graced the event, which was hosted by the Women’s Sports Foundation.

Carillo, the ubiquitous commentator, announcer, and reporter for a myriad of sports outside of tennis, shared her thoughts about the lack of media attention the tournaments outside of the Grand Slams receive nowadays.

“It’s amazing to me, when I first started covering tennis 35 years ago, there were a lot of people in the press room that I knew,” Carillo said. “And the newspaper business has changed so much, that’s the fact. There are people who are paying their own way to blog and to tweet. More and more magazines are just taking AP stories, they are just taking wire services stories. A lot of people who cover tennis well, they beg to go to Wimbledon, and they have to pay their way over, where they have to rent a house for two weeks. It has been very, very difficult.”

Carillo also shared thoughts on how tennis’ sponsors and the focus on the four Slams have diminished the prestige of other great events around the world, as well as the confusion of the WTA’s Premier 5/Mandatory structure in comparison to the ATP’s simple Masters 1000 series.

“There’s all kinds of names,” she said. “It killed me when the Italian, the Canadian Open, the German Open, these were national championships, and all of a sudden, we got rid of that name. Don’t call it the Italian Open anymore, now it’s the so-so, the (BNL D’Italia). And you’re like, ‘Wait a minute!’ Sometimes we marginalize the events by adding names like Premier. And you’re thinking what does that mean? Does that strictly relate to the prize money offered. So I agree with you that it could be confusing.”

Despite Serena Williams‘ tremendous year, the Sportswoman of the Year award went to the teenage swimming sensation Franklin, who is also a big tennis fan and participated at the 2012 Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day event.

Andrew Jones is a freelance sports, political, and music journalist. He is also the founder and publisher of The Whole Delivery (twd4u.com). Follow him on twitter @sluggahjells.

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Tennis Hall Of Famers John McEnroe, Jim Courier To Compete In Mylan WTT Matchup July 22 To Benefit Johnny Mac Tennis Project

John McEnroe

John McEnroe

NEW YORK, May 16, 2013 – Former World No. 1 players, Davis Cup standouts and International Tennis Hall of Famers John McEnroe and Jim Courier will battle it out on the Sportime Stadium hard court on Monday, July 22nd, as the NY Sportimes take on the Texas Wild in a Mylan World TeamTennis matchup. The annual night benefiting the Johnny Mac Tennis Project (JMTP) will also feature fellow Hall of Famer and Mylan WTT Co-Founder Billie Jean King in celebration of the 40th anniversary year of her historic matchup with Bobby Riggs in the famed “Battle of the Sexes.” The match begins at 7:30 p.m. on Randall’s Island.

JMTP provides scholarships, coaching, transportation and other financial assistance to qualified young tennis players in the greater New York area. JMTP benefit nights in previous years have featured the likes of Bjorn Borg (2011) and Andre Agassi (2012). JMTP and SPORTIME Clubs, home of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, have already provided over $1M in scholarships and no cost programming to young players in NYC and its communities.

JMTP scholarship recipients attend the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, which is completing its third year at Sportime Randall’s Island. Ticket prices for the July 22nd match will be $75, $150 and $300, with additional special VIP packages also available; please consult your tax advisor concerning the tax deductibility of ticket and package purchases. Tickets for the JMTP benefit night on July 22nd and for the NY Sportimes home match vs. the Washington Kastles at Randall’s Island on July 23rd can be purchased by calling 1-888-WTT-NYC1 or by visiting www.nysportimes.com. The July 23rd match is also benefiting JMTP and features former Sportime, and soon-to-be enshrined International Hall of Fame inductee, Martina Hingis, playing for Washington. Purchasers of tickets to the July 22nd match may elect to receive a ticket to the following night’s match for $1.00.

“Jim Courier has meant so much to American tennis, and we couldn’t be more pleased that he and the Texas Wild will be the opponent for this special night,” said Sportime Clubs and NY Sportimes CEO Claude Okin. “To have two of our country’s all-time premier players and tennis ambassadors in Jim and in our own Captain and leader, John McEnroe, will make for a very competitive and entertaining evening, but most importantly will ultimately help so many children in New York.”

“The JMTP Benefit night is a highlight of the year for me and for the Johnny Mac Tennis Project,” said McEnroe. “My commitment is stronger than ever to the youth of New York, and just as Bjorn and Andre helped make the evening special in years past, getting to compete against Jim again will, I hope, pump people up about American tennis – past and future.”

“I am honored and excited to be participating in this benefit, and to help John do what he is doing in his home town of New York City,” said Courier. “I live in NYC and I practice at SPORTIME so I see what John and his Academy are accomplishing there. I wanted to do my part to support John’s efforts in furthering the development of American tennis and young players in NYC.”

The night will also be part of a year-long celebration of the 40th anniversary of the “Battle of the Sexes” match between King and Riggs, which took place in Houston on Sept. 20, 1973. The spectacle, won by King in straight sets, is often cited as a turning point towards females earning equality in many aspects of American life.

The Sportimes open their Mylan World TeamTennis home schedule on July 9 vs. Springfield (featuring Andy Roddick for Springfield) at SEFCU Arena in Albany, N.Y. New York will play four other matches in Albany, on July 12, 15 (featuring Sloane Stephens for Philadelphia), 16 and 18 (featuring McEnroe vs. Orange County) and the aforementioned two at Sportime Stadium (July 22nd vs. Texas, July 23rd vs. Washington, featuring former Sportimes star Martina Hingis).

Conference championships are scheduled for Thursday, July 25th, at the higher of the top two seeds in each conference, and the season concludes with the Mylan WTT Finals presented by GEICO, on Sunday, July 28th, at the site of the Eastern Conference champion.

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Kourtin’ Karen’s Tennis News Week in Review

 

(January 7, 2013) NEW YORK, NY –  Kourtin’ Karen’s brief review of the previous week in the world of tennis, on and off-court.

0-15

British Player Hutchins Has Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

15-15
Murray Dedicates win to Hutchins

 

15- 30

Walking wounded?

Maria Sharapova withdrew from Brisbane nursing a right collarbone injury

John Isner withdrew from Hopman Cup with a knee injury.

Andrea Petkovic underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in her right knee the result of an injury in her first Hopman Cup match.

 

30-30

Gangnam Style

40-30

Swear I don’t swear

Andy Murray commented that he did not promise not to swear:

 

“I was doing an interview over the phone. I got asked about swearing on the court. I said ‘obviously I don’t mean to do it. I don’t want to do it. Sometimes you get frustrated and you do and obviously I will try to stop.’

“I didn’t make any promises or guarantees that I was going to.

“Then it came out that I’ve said this year I will stop swearing. What I also said was that a lot of players swear on the court and a lot of people say a lot worse things than me – in other languages. It doesn’t get picked up the same.

“So where I would obviously love to stop doing it, I try not to. But I can’t guarantee it.”

40-40

I’m relly boring now

 

Advantage

iPhone

Serena and Venus Williams in an iPhone commercial
Ad -out

Beware of Pedicures

No.  1 Victoria Azarenka blamed “a bad pedicure experience” forced her to pull out before her semifinal match in Brisbane against Serena Williams. Thirty minutes before the match Azarenka said she had undergone a small procedure to correct an ingrown toenail of her right big toe.

 

Deuce

Walking with “Sunshine”

Caro-Rory-Tower8-640x426

Caroline Wozniacki and boyfriend golfer Rory McIlroy took to Sydney’s Skywalk

 

Advantage Time?

The ATP is cracking down on the time taken by players between points this year. Players including Andy Murray  say they agree with the concept but 25 seconds between points is not enough.

 

Deuce

On the market, back off the market?

Recently, ESPN’s Darren Rovell “confirmed” that 25 year-old Maria Sharapova is indeed dating 21-year-old Bulgarian player Grigor Dimitrov dubbed “Baby Fed” for his similar playing style to Roger Federer. At the end of last year tennis journalist Colette Lewis reported this on her twitter account. Sharapova had  split up with her fiancé to basketball player Sasha Vujacic back in the spring.

 

Advantage

Australain Open Wildcards

Men Women
Wu Di (CHN) Asia Pacific Wildcard Play-off Yuxuan Zhang (CHN) Asia Pacific WildcardPlay-off
Benjamin Mitchell AO Play-off winner Bojana Bobusic AO Play-off winner
Rhyne Williams US Open Reciprocal Madison Keyes US Open Reciprocal
Josselin Ouanna French Open Reciprocal Caroline Garcia French Open Reciprocal
Luke Saville Discretionary Olivia Rogowska Discretionary

 

Deuce

Court Coverage

During a a match versus Dustin Brown in Doha, top seed David Ferrer made a hole in the court. Play had to be stopped to fix the court.

 

Advantage

Tennis Queen becomes bowling queen

Billie Jean King now the celebrity owner o of the New York City WTT KingPins, joining Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul and former NFL stars Jerome Bettis and Terrell Owens as celebrity owners in the Professional Bowlers Association’s inaugural PBA League.

 

Game, Set, Match and Champions

Serena Williams captures her 47th WTA title by defeating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-1 to win the Brisbane International in Brisbane, Australia.

Andy Murray defeated Grigor Dimitrov 7-6(0), 6-4 to win the Brisbane International for his 25th ATP World Tour title.

Richard Gasquet rallied from a set and a break down to beat Nikolay Davydenko 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-3 to win the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha.

Li Na beat Klara Zakopalova 6-3, 1-6, 7-5 to win the inaugural Shenzhen Longgang Gemdale Open in Shenzhen, China.

Janko Tipsarevic over surprise finalist Roberto Bautista-Agut 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 to win the Aircel Chennai Open in Chennai, India, his 4th career title.

Agnieszka Radwanska over Yanina Wickmayer 6-4, 6-4 to win the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand

Spain upsets Serbia 2-1 to win the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia.

 

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WTT Smash Hits raises a record $1 million as Team Billie Jean beats Team Elton 19-17

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (Oct. 16, 2012) — The 20th anniversary edition of Mylan WTT
Smash Hits presented by GEICO, was one for the record books with the event
posting a record $1 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation with a
portion of those proceeds benefitting the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force. The
event, hosted annually by Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King, has now
raised more the $11.5 million to support HIV and AIDS prevention and
awareness programs since the first Smash Hits was held in Los Angeles in
1993.

Team Billie Jean King won the match, besting Team Elton John, 19-17.

Tuesday’s match at the Petersen Event Center on the University of Pittsburgh
campus featured one of the first tennis appearances of Andy Roddick since
announcing his retirement from the sport, and hall of famer Andre Agassi in
men’s singles. Team Elton’s Roddick won the final set of men’s singles over
Agassi, 5-3, to push the match into Overtime. Agassi captured the first
game of Overtime to give Team Billie Jean the win and even the 20-year
series at 10-10.

Sir Elton John kicked the evening off, partnering with Martina Navratilova
to take a 3-2 victory against Agassi and Stefanie Graf in an entertaining
celebrity doubles set.

Women’s singles brought two of the top junior players in the world and saw
Team Elton’s Taylor Townsend post a 5-2 win over the 2012 US Open girls
singles champion Samantha Crawford. In mixed doubles, Roddick paired with
the legendary Martina Navratilova to lead Team Elton to a 5-3 win over
Agassi and Graf.

In women’s doubles, Christina McHale teamed with Crawford and cruised to a
5-0 win over Navratilova and Townsend to bring Team Billie Jean even with
Team Elton 10-10 after three sets. “I am so happy with my team tonight,”
said King following the match. “Girls doubles really turned it around for
us. The young ones got us back in the match.”

King’s squad increased their lead in men’s doubles as Mark Knowles joined
Agassi to pick up a 5-2 win over Roddick and Jan-Michael Gambill.

Earlier in the evening, a silent and live auction raised more than $375,000
of the night’s total. The top auction item of the night went for $200,000
when two bidders paid $100,000 each for a package that included tickets to
Sir Elton John’s “The Million Dollar Piano” show at Caesar’s Palace in Las
Vegas and dinner with Elton and Billie Jean King. A hitting session with
Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf in Las Vegas sold for $55,000. Other auction
items were a 2013 Super Bowl Package with a dinner hosted by NFL legend
Franco Harris, an Elton John-signed piano bench, a hitting session with
Martina Navratilova, and Wimbledon and US Open packages.

For more information on Mylan WTT Smash Hits, visit www.WTTSmashHits.com.

Final Results – Mylan WTT Smash Hits presented by GEICO at Petersen Events
Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.
PRO-CELEB MATCH (didn’t count towards final match score): Elton John /
Martina Navratilova def. Andre Agassi / Stefanie Graf, 3-2
Coaches for the pro-celeb match were Anna Kournikova (Elton/Martina) and
Franco Harris (Andre/Stefanie)

Team Billie Jean def. Team Elton 19-17 (1-0 Overtime)
Mixed Doubles: Andy Roddick / Martina Navratilova (Team Elton) def. Andre
Agassi / Stefanie Graf (Team Billie Jean) 5-3

Women’s Singles: Taylor Townsend (Team Elton) def. Samantha Crawford (Team
Billie Jean) 5-2

Women’s Doubles: Christina McHale /Samantha Crawford (Team Billie Jean) def.
Martina Navratilova / Taylor Townsend (Team Elton) 5-0

Men’s Doubles: Andre Agassi / Mark Knowles (Team Billie Jean) def. Andy
Roddick / Jan-Michael Gambill (Team Elton) 5-2

Men’s Singles: Andy Roddick (Team Elton) def. Andre Agassi (Team Billie
Jean) 5-3

Overtime:
Andre Agassi (Team Billie Jean) def. Andy Roddick (Team Elton) 1-0

TEAM ELTON:
Elton John, Andy Roddick, Martina Navratilova, Taylor Townsend, Jan-Michael
Gambill.
Co-captain: Anna Kournikova.

TEAM BILLIE JEAN:
Billie Jean King, Andre Agassi, Stefanie Graf, Mark Knowles, Christina
McHale, Samantha Crawford.
Co-captain: Franco Harris

All photos by Fred & Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA

no images were found

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Anna Kournikova and NFL Hall of Famer Franco Harris Celebrity Coaches for WTT Smash Hits

Pittsburgh, Pa. (October 15, 2012) — NFL Hall of Famer Franco Harris and two-time Grand Slam doubles champion Anna Kournikova are lending their support to Mylan WTT Smash Hits presented by GEICO, the annual charity event co-hosted by Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King.

 

Harris and Kournikova will kick off the October 16 event in Pittsburgh by serving as celebrity coaches in the opening pro-celebrity set featuring Elton John teaming with Martina Navratilova to take on Andre Agassi and his wife Stefanie Graf. Kournikova is a co-captain of Team Elton and will be the coach for John and Navratilova. Harris, who is co-captain for Team Billie Jean, will be the coach for Agassi and Graf in the opening set. Action begins at 7:00 p.m. at the Petersen Events Center.

 

During a pre-match reception, Harris will also help auction off a Super Bowl package that includes tickets to the big game along with an autographed commemorative football celebrating the 40th anniversary of the “Immaculate Reception”.

 

After the pro-celebrity set, some of tennis’ biggest names will form two teams and play five sets of World TeamTennis (WTT) – one set each of men’s and women’s singles, doubles, and mixed doubles – on teams captained by King and John.

 

Playing for Team Billie Jean are Hall of Famers Graf and Agassi, along with former world No. 1 in doubles Mark Knowles; world No. 30 Christina McHale and the 2012 US Open junior girls singles champion Samantha Crawford.

Team Elton includes former US Open champion Andy Roddick; Martina Navratilova, a 59-time Grand Slam champion in singles, doubles and mixed doubles; No. 1 ranked junior Taylor Townsend, and former top 15 player, WTT veteran Jan-Michael Gambill.

 

This year’s event marks the 20th anniversary of Smash Hits, which has raised more than $10.5 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) and various local AIDS charities since 1993. Mylan WTT Smash Hits will benefit EJAF and the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force, and will also include a pre-match VIP Reception and Auction hosted by Allegheny Sports Medicine.

John, King and all players will participate in the pre-match live auction, which will include an Elton John signed piano bench and King’s Wimbledon tickets among other items.

 

Official event sponsors include Mylan, GEICO, Highmark, Allegheny Sports Medicine, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mercedes-Benz of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh, Horizon Properties, Wells Fargo, Buck Consultants, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Cravath, Skadden, Alston+Bird LLP, Kelley Drye, Wiley Rein LLP, Frommer Lawrence & Haug LLP, Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti LLP, Rakoczy Molino Mazzochi Siwik LLP, Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation, The Norton Agency, GA Communication Group, Generic Pharmaceutical Association, Re/Max, Heeter Direct, Mansions on Fifth, 94.5 3WS, KDKA, and Pittsburgh Magazine.

 

For more information on WTT Smash Hits, visit www.wttsmashhits.com.

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