2014/04/19

Andy Roddick, James Blake and John Isner Team Up to Particpate in Justin Gimelstob Children’s Fund Tennis Exhibition

Justin Gimelstob Children’s Fund Tennis Exhibition

By Josh Meiseles, Special to Tennis Panorama News

(December 7, 2013) CHATHAM, NJ – Centercourt Athletic Club in Chatham, New Jersey played host to the Justin Gimelstob Children’s Fund Tennis Exhibition for the sixth time on Friday, as the star-studded event raised money for the former ATP pro’s foundation. The fundraiser amassed over $300,000 in support of comprehensive healthcare services for children with cancer and blood disorders. In conjunction with The Valerie Fund, a New Jersey-based non-profit organization, the event also included a free 10 & under tennis clinic.

 

“When we started this event and my foundation fifteen years ago, I could never have imagined it would have grown into what it is today,” said Gimelstob in a press release. “It brings me so much pleasure to come back home and bring world-class tennis with me…all for a great cause.”

 

A day after James Blake held his ninth annual Serving for a Cure event in New York City, the former ATP World No. 4 accompanied Gimelstob, Andy Roddick and John Isner for a few singles and doubles exhibition matches. Celebrities in attendance included David Duchovny, Anne V., Brooklyn Decker, ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell, New York Mets star pitcher Matt Harvey and former New Jersey Nets guard Kerry Kittles.

 

“It means a lot to us, to all of us,” said Isner. “All of us support each other and our causes as well and that’s really what we’re doing here. We did it last night with James, tonight with Justin and these guys are coming down with me to North Carolina. We’re all very good friends and through that friendship and our tennis we’re able to give back to some unbelievable causes. You really get a lot of satisfaction out of this time of year.”
The evening included plenty of comedic moments, especially from the witty Roddick. With no shortage of banter, the former World No. 1 razzed on Isner’s net game and jumped on Duchovny for overcooking a volley: “You know, I hated the X-Files before that shot.” The shot of the day came when Blake ripped a massive forehand winner off a Roddick serve to which the US Open champ replied, “You realize I’m going right for your forehand next time.”

 

Roddick also reflected on his first full season away from the tour. “I guess every retired guy has that kick in the gut moment where you miss it. Mine was Wimbledon and the grass season. I don’t know if that was because I didn’t quite get there. That’s what I wanted most. It didn’t help that all the guys lost in the first couple rounds and I’m thinking ‘what did I do?’ The cumulative six-week process of getting to the point of competing in Australia is what I couldn’t get to anymore. Obviously being at the [US] Open was great, seeing it again. I was sitting up top watching the final and I was just amazed at how the guys play.”

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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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Agassi, Graf, Roddick to Headline WTT Smash Hits on October 16

 

Pittsburgh, Pa. (June 25, 2012) — Longtime friends Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King are bringing their annual charity night of tennis, Mylan World TeamTennis (WTT) Smash Hits presented by GEICO, to Pittsburgh for the first time in the event’s 20-year history. Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl joined WTT CEO/Commissioner Ilana Kloss and Mylan CEO Heather Bresch at Pittsburgh City Hall this afternoon to announce the event, which will raise funds for the fight against HIV and AIDS.

Tennis greats Andre Agassi, Stefanie Graf, and Andy Roddick will join other top players for Mylan WTT Smash Hits on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the Petersen Events Center. Tickets for the one-night event go on sale Monday, July 16, at 10 a.m. Eastern.

Mylan, a global pharmaceutical company based in the Pittsburgh area, has signed on as the title sponsor of this special 20th anniversary celebration of one of tennis’ longest-running and most successful charity events. Mylan will also be an official sponsor of the WTT Pro League, the innovative coed professional tennis league co-founded by Billie Jean King.

Smash Hits has raised more than $10.5 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) and various local AIDS charities since 1993. This year’s event will benefit EJAF and the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force. The funds raised at the pre-match VIP Reception and Auction hosted by Allegheny Sports Medicine will be specifically targeted for local programs.

“As we celebrate our 20th anniversary of Smash Hits, we couldn’t ask for a better partner than Mylan, whose leadership work in the AIDS arena has continued to make such a positive difference on a global basis,” said WTT co-founder Billie Jean King. “Together, we will continue to use all our assets to expand awareness and ensure as many people as possible have access to affordable drugs to treat HIV/AIDS.”

“Mylan is honored to be sponsoring the 20th Annual Smash Hits event in Pittsburgh, as well as the WTT Pro League,” said Heather Bresch, CEO of Mylan Inc. “Mylan’s mission is to provide the world’s 7 billion people with access to high quality medicine. As one of the world’s leading providers of affordable antiretroviral medicines used to treat HIV/AIDS, Mylan has a long history of taking an active role in the fight against this disease. In fact, one in three people in the developing world being treated for HIV/AIDS depends on a Mylan product. We strongly support the missions of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force and World TeamTennis and share in their passionate commitment to reducing the incidence of HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and around the world.”

“We’re really excited to host this world-renowned event in Pittsburgh and bring light to such an important issue,” Ravenstahl said. “The generous support of companies such as Mylan and Highmark takes our City’s history of neighbors-helping-neighbors to a global level, enabling us to have a greater impact while still helping local residents in need.”

“It is always such a great pleasure to co-host this wonderful event with my dear friend Billie Jean King,” said Sir Elton John. “I’m so pleased that we will be teaming up with the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force to raise awareness about the continuing challenges of the HIV/AIDS epidemic both locally and nationally and to raise urgently needed dollars for community-based HIV prevention, education, treatment, and care services. I urge all of the tennis fans and concerned citizens in the Greater Pittsburgh area to support this event and bring their families for a wonderful evening of tennis for a great cause.”

Captained by King and John, the players 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. The music legend is expected to participate in a celebrity doubles match to open the event. Additional participants will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

Pittsburgh also served as home to one of the WTT Pro League’s first teams, the 1975 WTT Champion Pittsburgh Triangles, a storied franchise led by tennis greats Vitas Gerulaitis and Evonne Goolagong.

Tickets for Mylan WTT Smash Hits go on sale at 10 a.m. Eastern on Monday, July 16. Corner reserved seats are $40; premium reserved seats are $75; and courtside seats are $125. Order tickets through www.wttsmashhits.com or ticketmaster.com. For group sales of 10 or more tickets, call 412-924-8270.

Special VIP ticket packages, including VIP courtside seating and admission to the VIP Reception and Auction, will also be available for $500. 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. To buy VIP ticket packages or for more information, call 412-924-8270.

This will be 12th Smash Hits appearance for Agassi. The 8-time Grand Slam singles champion and former world No. 1 is well-known for his philanthropy, which includes starting the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas. Agassi was inducted into The International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2011.

This is the second Smash Hits appearance for Graf, a fellow Hall of Famer. Graf has long been considered one of the greatest players in tennis history, winning 107 singles titles, 22 Grand Slam singles championships, and an Olympic gold medal before retiring in 1999. Graf and her husband Andre Agassi have two children, daughter Jaz and son Jaden.

Roddick, who is playing in his 8th Smash Hits event, is a former world No. 1 and continues to be one of the most popular and successful players on the ATP Tour. The 29-year-old American has won 30 singles titles, including the 2003 US Open and has been ranked in the top 10 for nine consecutive years. In 2001, Roddick started the Andy Roddick Foundation (ARF), a charity dedicated to improving the quality of life and enhancing educational and economic opportunities for all children based on the principles of respect for family, education and morality.

Official event sponsors include Mylan, GEICO, Highmark, Allegheny Sports Medicine, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh Magazine.

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

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Djokovic, Fish, Verdasco Take Part in K-Swiss Desert Smash to Help Raise Money for Children’s Charity

 

 

LAQUINTA, CA – (March 6, 2012) -   Heading into the BNP Paribas Open this week top players including Novak Djokovic, Mardy Fish, Mike Bryan, Fernando Verdasco and Sam Querrey were out and about for the eighth annual K•Swiss Desert Smash  charity celebrity tennis event at the La Quinta Resort & Club.  The March 6th & 7th event benefits  Variety – The Children’s Charity, which is dedicated to promoting, and protecting the health and well-being of underprivileged and special needs children in the Coachella Valley.

For more information on the event www.k-swissdesertsmash.com and more about Variety – The Children’s Charity www.varietyofthedesert.org

All photos by Beth Wilson editor of Nadal News and  tennis photographer.

 

 

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K•Swiss to Hold 8th Annual Desert Smash March 6-7

K•Swiss  will once again hold the a charity celebrity tennis event Desert Smash at the La Quinta Resort & Club, just outside Palm Springs, Calif. Leading into the BNP Paribas Open, the event will be held on March 6th & 7th to benefit Variety – The Children’s Charity, which is dedicated to promoting, and protecting the health and well-being of underprivileged and special needs children in the Coachella Valley.

 

This year’s event will feature a Tennis Pro-Am Tournament Pro-Tennis Exhibition played at the La Quinta Tennis Stadium. Scheduled to participate will be World No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Victoria Azarenka,  Caroline Wozniacki, Mardy Fish, Fernando Verdasco, Ivan Ljubicic, Bob & Mike Bryan.

Each year, the K•Swiss Desert Smash attracts celebrity tennis to La Quinta to rub elbows with the world’s best tennis players. Past celebrity attendees have included: Christian Slater, Gavin Rossdale, Ryan Kwanten, Joe Pesci, Amaury Nolasco, Michael Vartan, Rex Lee, Lance Bass, Joanna Garcia, Daniel Baldwin, Eliza Dushku, Jennifer Morrison, Kirk Fox and Peter Jason.

For more information on the event www.k-swissdesertsmash.com and more about Variety – The Children’s Charity www.varietyofthedesert.org

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ATP Announces Inaugural ‘ATP ACES For Charity’ Grant Recipients

 

 

The ATP has announced the 12 inaugural recipients of its ATP ACES For Charity grant programme. Grants of $10,000 each will be awarded by the ATP on an annual basis to charitable causes nominated by ATP World Tour players and tournaments.

This year’s recipients include The Rafa Nadal Foundation, the Bryan Brothers Foundation, the Japan Tennis Association’s earthquake relief fund, and organisations supporting a range of causes, including healthcare for children in Memphis and Bucharest, relief for victims of natural disasters in Pakistan and Japan, sports and education programmes for disadvantaged youth in Washington DC and the Congo, and social services for the disabled in Argentina and China.

The ATP ACES For Charity programme, launched earlier this year, is a global initiative aimed at giving back to communities where ATP World Tour events are played, as well as recognising and supporting tournament and player charitable initiatives. Click here to learn more.

The recipients of the 2011 ATP ACES For Charity grants are:

Players

Bob & Mike Bryan: The Bryan Brothers Foundation is dedicated to supporting and developing the dreams of children in Ventura County, California and around the world, helping at-risk youth survive and thrive. It seeks out specific families and children in need, working with them directly to ensure that they have the opportunities they need to succeed. Its beneficiaries have included City Impact, Andre Agassi’s Charter School and the Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program.
Bryan Brothers Foundation

Ivan Ljubicic: Special Olympics Monaco, nominated by Ivan Ljubicic, focuses on the empowerment and acceptance of people with an intellectual disability through sport. The organisation provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults, giving them continuing opportunities to participate in their communities, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and have fun. Ljubicic has been the Ambassador for Special Olympics Monaco since 2009.
Special Olympics Monaco

Rafael Nadal: The Rafa Nadal Foundation, launched in February 2008, aims to provide opportunities for socially disadvantaged youth. The Foundation offers educational programmes using sport as a tool for personal and social integration, passing on values such as effort, self-improvement and respect.  It is currently affiliated with three projects: the Vicente Ferrer Foundation in Antapur, India; the Special Olympics; and the Aldeas Infantiles SOS.
Rafa Nadal Foundation

David Nalbandian: The David Nalbandian Foundation aspires to create positive conditions that help people with a disability lead better lives. It has equipped special needs schools and hospitals throughout the province of Cordoba in Argentina, and opened a community centre that integrates specially adapted technology. Later this month, the David Nalbandian Foundation will open a Rehabilitation Centre, which will provide healthcare programs and services for the community – reaching a population of 120,000 people – in a state-of-the-art facility.
David Nalbandian Foundation

Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi: The Haq Foundation, established by Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, supports various charity and community welfare projects, such as scholarships for the poor and assistance for victims of natural disasters. In conjunction with his role as Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Development Programme, Qureshi is helping to create awareness of flood relief efforts in Pakistan and raise funds to construct houses for those displaced.
United Nations Development Programme

Tommy Robredo: The Tommy Robredo Foundation organises activities which allow sports training for people with a disability, mainly wheelchair tennis. It also raises awareness of the importance of sport as beneficial to mental and physical health, and as a stimulant to personal growth and well being. The Foundation holds an international wheelchair tennis tournament, the Santi Silvas Open, which attracts the world’s top male and female players.
Tommy Robredo Foundation

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: Attrap La Balle (“Catch the ball”), founded by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and a group of friends in 2009, provides underprivileged children in the Congo with access to sports activities. In addition to renovating existing facilities, the organisation has built a sports centre in Pointe Noire, which provides training for the most promising athletes. Attrap La Balle also aspires to improve hygiene and nutrition in schools.
Attrap La Balle
Tournaments

China Open (Beijing): The Bethel China Foundation, nominated by the China Open, provides foster care, education and professional training for Chinese orphans who are blind or visually impaired. Key initiatives of the Bethel China Foundation include “The Love Is Blind Project”, supporting 60 blind orphans on its 17-acre project site just south of Beijing, and “Project 555”, offering training to other orphanages throughout China to better care for this community.
Bethel China Foundation

BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy (Bucharest): The Heart Of Children Association, a charity partner of the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy tournament, helps children with heart conditions and contributes to the development of cardiac surgery in Romania. In 2009, the Association successfully campaigned for the establishment of a pediatric cardiac surgery centre at the Marie Curie Children’s Hospital in Bucharest – the first of its kind in the region.
The Heart Of Children Association

Regions Morgan Keegan Championships (Memphis): The St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, affiliated with the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships since 1993, is internationally recognised as a premier pediatric cancer research centre and is the only one of its kind where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. In addition to childhood cancers, research and treatment at St. Jude includes sickle cell disease, influenza and pediatric HIV/AIDS.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships (Tokyo): The Japan Tennis Association, organiser of the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships, aims to assist individuals affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Eastern Japan this past March. Proceeds from its charity fund go toward the Japan Red Cross and to local youth tennis groups through the Tohoku Tennis Association headquartered in Sendai, the nearest major city to the earthquake epicentre.
Japan Red Cross

Legg Mason Tennis Classic (Washington, DC): The Washington Tennis & Education Fund (WTEF), a beneficiary of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, combines tennis and education in three main programs – including its flagship Arthur Ashe Children’s Program – that serve 1,500 children annually. It seeks to improve the life prospects of DC youth, particularly those from lower income communities, through academic, athletic and community-building activities that teach discipline, build confidence and improve academic performance.
Washington Tennis & Education Fund

Courtesy of the ATP World Tour

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Elena Dementieva and Elena Likhovtseva Play in Tennis Stars for Children

Moscow, Russia (January 28, 2011) – Russian women’s tennis legends Elena Dementieva and Elena Likhovtseva took part in “Tennis Stars for Children,” an exhibition mixed doubles match at the Tennis Palace Central Sports Club of Army (CSKA) on Jan. 27. The event was organized with the support of Gulfstream Security Systems, the Russian Tennis Federation, and Central Sports Army Club to benefit the Absolute Help Foundation and Serpukhov City Orphanage. The exhibition match featured Dementieva and Andrei Olkhovskiy against Likhovtseva and Igor Kunitsyn.

The charitable beneficiary of the match was the Absolute Help Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to implementing chаrity progrаms аnd projects for children in the areas of educаtion, public heаlth, sport аnd other fields in Moscow. Sixty children from the local orphanage were present at the match and attended a photo and autograph session with players as well as received gifts from Gulfstream Security Systems and the Russian Tennis Federation.

A gold medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Dementieva has brought women’s tennis in Russia to new levels. She has been a member of the Russian Fed Cup Team since 1999 and won Russia’s Female of the Year Award in 2001. A winner of 16 WTA titles with a career high ranking of No. 3 in the world, Dementieva plans to continue to raise awareness and funding for children in need.

“I was very happy to be part of this amazing event,” said Dementieva. “It was a joint effort of many people and companies and it was rewarding to see everyone work really hard to put this together.  The children from the orphanage were wonderful and I am really glad I got to meet them and spend time with them. I look forward to taking part in similar events in the future.”

Likhovtseva, a former top 15 singles player and No. 3 doubles player in the world, has won a total of three WTA singles titles and 27 WTA doubles titles.

The Absolute Help Foundation wаs estаblished in 2002 on the initiаtive of the Аbsolut Investment Group thаt provides finаnciаl support to the foundаtion. The chаrity orgаnizаtion operаtes in the territory of Moscow, closely collаborаting with the Moscow Region Government. The foundаtion’s progrаms аre focused on improving heаlth аnd educаtion of orphаns, children from sociаlly deprived fаmilies, disаbled children and other children in need. For more information please visit http://www.absolute-help.ru.

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