Serena Williams, Azarenka, Del Potro Celebrate Next Year’s BNP Paribas Showdown

New York, NY – On Wednesday the sixth annual BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden was announced. The event which is scheduled for Monday, March 4, 2013 will feature World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, facing off against Serena Williams. Following the ladies will be Juan Martin del Potro, versus Rafael Nadal.

Friday early evening Azarenka, Williams and Del Potro met a select group of media at a small party to celebrate the Showdown.

Tennis Panorama News asked Del Potro about playing in the “World’s most famous arena.”

“I’m very proud to be part of this big, big show with big players, Rafa also playing, said the 2009 US Open winner. “It’s nice, I will enjoy it.”

Azarenka also spoke to Tennis Panorama on playing for the first time in Madison Square Garden: “I’m really excited to be part of this event and playing against Serena I think will be a great show. I always have been watching it on TV, so it’s definitely a great honor to be a part of and to play in Madison Square Garden, you know it’s extra special. I’ve never been here so, I’m really, really excited as well.

Rafael Nadal out of the US Open with a knee injury, was unable to attend.

Azarenka is the top women’s seed at the US Open which begins on August 27, with Williams at No. 4. Del Potro comes in to the tournament as the No. 7 seed.


Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama


Sharapova and Roddick Win with Laughs and Quality Tennis at the BNP Paribas Showdown

Caroline Wozniacki watches boyfriend and PGA Professional Rory McIlroy walk on the tennis court in her match against Maria Sharapova at the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden in New York City on March 5, 2012. UPI/John Angelillo



NEW YORK, NY (March 5, 2012) – On Monday night in Madison Square Garden 18,079 people attended the BNP Paribas Showdown exhibition which saw World No. 2 Maria Sharapova defeat No. 4 Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-4, while No. 31 Andy Roddick topped No. 3 Roger Federer 7-5, 7-6 (7).

This was all a part of Tennis Night in America an annual celebration of tennis in collaboration with the USTA since 2008, with over 1,400 facilities hosting youth tennis events featuring 10 and Under Tennis throughout March all in an effort to get more children involved in playing tennis. Before the matches there was a demonstration of of 10 and under tennis with smaller racquets, foam balls played on the court with blended lines showing the shorter court lines within.

Maria Sharapova hits a backhand in the second set of her match against Caroline Wozniacki at the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden in New York City on March 5, 2012. UPI/John Angelillo

In the first match Demark’s Wozniacki was broken in the opening game of the match and in the ninth game to give Russia’s Sharapova the first set 6-3.

The second set opened with Sharapova broken at love and Wozniacki headed for a 4-2 lead and lost the next four games – game, set, match Sharapova 6-3, 6-4.

The match was not without its lighter moments despite mostly intense tennis- Wozniacki and Sharapova danced with spectators. With Wozniacki a game away from losing she invited her boyfriend the No. 1 golfer Rory McIlroy to pay a point against Sharapova which he won when Sharapova hit a lob wide on the sideline.


Wozniacki said, ”He was not too pleased with me but at least he can say he played tennis at Madison Square Garden.

“Not a lot of people can say that, so he got an experience out of it and he got to play against Maria.”

McIlroy also noted that ”I’ve won a few (points) off Caroline.”


In jest, Sharapova told Patrick McEnroe covering the event for ESPN “He (McIlroy) won more points than Caroline did.”

Andy Roddick shakes hands with Roger Federer after their match at the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden in New York City on March 5, 2012. UPI/John Angelillo

The men also had some fun of their own.  During the American’s  win over the Swiss, a few fans yelled, “Let’s go, Rafa!” So Roddick obliged them by pushing up his sleeves and placing his racquet in his left hand, but ended up playing the point right-handed and grunting with each strike of the ball like Rafael Nadal. After Roddick won the point, he celebrated Nadal-style with by copying the Spaniard’s vintage “vamos” fist pump.

The men also exchanged between-the-leg shots (aka “tweeners”) in one rally, Federer made it, Roddick hit his into the net.


The first set saw both men exchange breaks, Roddick with the ultimate break for the set to go up 6-5 and he closed it out on his serve. Both men held serve in the second set and forced a tie break. Roddick saved a Federer set point at 5-6 and took the tiebreak 9-7 and the match in straight sets.

“It’s pretty clear tonight. . . I’m in Roger’s head.”

“I was real excited when I got the invite to play here” Roddick said. “I grew up an avid sports fan and the things I remember most vividly are Jordan playing here, him coming back here, and the first time he came back after that, Reggie Miller and Spike Lee talking trash to each other- all that great stuff. To be able to play here, where so much history has happened in every area of entertainment, was a real special experience for me.

“Tonight it felt good. Honestly I really enjoyed myself and that lead to me playing well. So hopefully I can use this a little bit. I had a great time.”


Federer added: “lt was a chance to build great momentum but it was a tough trip and was a tough day today. Andy played great. I was really happy to see him playing so well. I have been around the globe playing tennis myself. I heard Andy was struggling a little bit so it is good to see him play so well and hopefully he can make another run at the top-10. I really enjoyed myself tonight and hope to be back some day.”

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News

Morning “Showtime” for BNP Paribas Showdown For Federer, Roddick, Sharapova and WozniackiTennis Night in America Spokesman McEnroe Says There is “Work to Be Done” To Get Kids into Tennis


Morning “Showtime” for BNP Paribas Showdown For Federer, Roddick, Sharapova and Wozniacki

NEW YORK, NY – Jumeirah Essex House (March 5, 2012) – In a Monday morning news conference preceding Monday night’s BNP Paribas Showdown featuring Maria Sharapova taking on Caroline Wozniacki and Roger Federer playing Andy Roddick at Madison Square Garden, the participants enjoyed a little “hit and giggle” banter.

Raw audio of  news conference – warning low audio levels.

The BNP Paribas Showdown is produced by MSG Sports and StarGames, Inc.

The BNP Paribas Showdown is part of Tennis Night in America, an annual celebration of tennis that includes youth registration events at facilities around the country throughout March. Tennis Night in America is a joint effort between the BNP Paribas Showdown and the United States Tennis Association.

Tennis Panorama News will media for the event, follow us here and on our twitter account for live updates.

The Showdown is being broadcast live on ESPN3.com  and ESPN International beginning at 7 p.m. ET. It will re-air at 11:30pm on ESPN2. MSG Networks will re-broadcast the BNP Paribas Showdown beginning on March 16 at 8:00 p.m. on MSG Plus and again on March 18at 10:00 p.m. on MSG.

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Raw and Uncut – Sounds of the Showdown with Agassi, Sampras, Lendl and McEnroe

Monday, February 25, 2011 – Jumeirah Essex House, Grand Ballroom – Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe shared a few laughs among the serious questions during a morning news conference for the BNP Paribas Showdown. The player’s portion of the news conference begins at the 12 minute mark.

Warning – due to technical issues the levels of these recordings may be low so you may have to raise your volume. Also be wary of the background sounds of reporters milling about with papers and such and doors opening and closing.

Morning News Conference

Runs 31:17 – forward to the 12:00 mark when players begin to banter.

John McEnroe

John McEnroe was forced to retire due to an ankle sprain while leading Lendl 6-3. Listen to what he had to say:

John McEnroe Post Match News Conference

Runs 9:45


Ivan Lendl

Between Ivan Lendl’s comments during the morning news conference and this post match news conference, he could easily be a stand up comedian:

Ivan Lendl Post Match News Conference

Runs 13:45

Agassi – Sampras Post Match News Conference

Runs 9:53

Tennis Panorama was media for the BNP Paribas Showdown. On Occasion we like to include raw sound in our articles and sometimes a podcast.


Photo-Op and News Conference for BNP Paribas Showdown

Photo-Op and News Conference for “BNP Paribas Showdown for The Bilie Jean King Cup held at the Petite Salon, Jumeirah Essex House on Central Park South

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The combatants-Venus and Serena Williams, Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic along with Bilie Jean King and the PNB Paribas President pose before the news conference.

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From left to right:Ana Ivanovic, Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Jelena Jankovic.

Listen to the News Conference raw and unedited:

Players News Conference Runs 15:39

You should be able to listen to this on  Windows Media Player.

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Kirk Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis USTA and Billie Jean King.

Listen to the News Conference:

King and Kamperman Runs 19:31