2014/04/20

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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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

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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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