Del Potro and Serena Williams Victorious at BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden


(March 4, 2013) NEW YORK, NY – World Tennis Day was celebrated from Hong Kong to New York on Monday.In New York’s Madison Square Garden, Juan Martin Del Potro and Serena Williams were celebrating wins over Rafael Nadal and Victoria Azarenka respectively, in the BNP Paribas Showdown.

The ladies led off the event. Both women appeared a little out of practice to start but began to demonstrate their shot-making skills later in the first set which Williams won 6-4.



At 3-3 in the second set Azarenka called on her boyfriend pop music star Redfoo to play a point for her.  He missed both serves to which Azarenka commented, “He needs to practice before his exhibition.”

Azarenka and Williams honored Nadal by playing a few points left-handed. Williams took the match 6-4, 6-3.


Serena Williams photo from http://wsenetwork.com

In their post-match news conference they revealed that they will be shooting a karaoke video to Rihanna’s “Stay.” Williams made not that Azarenka is one of only a few players that she’s close to off of the court.

V. Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka photo from http://wsenetwork.com


Williams said Azarenka is one of the few players she’s close to off the court.

“We really respect each other,” Williams proclaimed “I love Victoria as a person. I love how she’s so competitive on the court.”


With all of the talk about being concerned about playing on hard court, Rafael Nadal looked comfortable playing Del Potro on a hard court  in the “world’s most famous Arena.”

For both men it was their “garden” debut.

Despite Nadal losing 7-6 (4), 6-4 to Del Potro, the Spaniard appeared to move pain-free and was smiling throughout the match. He was, however, cautious about jumping for overheads.

They also dabbled in some trick-shot plays. Both players attempted between-the-legs shots and headers like soccer players.

Nadal brought actor Ben Stiller for a few point to play doubles against Del Potro and a little girl from the crowd. The young girl proved to be a better player than the actor- comedian. After winning both point Del Potro carried the little girl for a few moments to the cheers of the crowd.


Juan Marin Del Potro

In the post-match news conference, Del Potro could relate to Nadal’s seven-month absence from the tour as Del Potro was sidelined for eight months with a wrist injury in 2010.

“It’s amazing how great he’s recovered,” the Argentine said.

“He’s going to be fighting for No. 1 very, very soon”

I his first three tournaments back, Nadal’s  is 12 – 1 with two titles – all on clay courts. Nadal has expressed his concern with playing on hards with Indian Wells and Miami coming up.


Rafael Nadal

“That will be a big test for me,” Nadal said as he will play in Indian Wells later this week. “Today I know I can play on clay; that’s a very important thing to know for me.

“Today, my only goal is to recover the knee 100%. I feel better and better every week. If things go well, I’ll try to keep playing.”

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Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama



Third Season of “World of Tennis” to Debut on Tennis Channel December 5

(November 29, 2012) NEW YORK, N.Y. – StarGames and MSG Sports have announced that the third season of “World of Tennis Presented by BNP Paribas” will debut next week. The first of seven episodes of the bi-weekly series will premiere on Tennis Channel at 7:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, December 5.

The 30-minute show will feature “Holding Court,” a profile segment hosted by Justin Gimelstob that this year will include interviews with tennis legends Jimmy Connors and Boris Becker as well as Olympic gold medal skier and tennis fan Lindsay Vonn. In the first two years of the show, Gimelstob’s guests included Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick and “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson.

The hot topics of tennis will also be covered on each episode during a round table discussion with Sports Illustrated Senior Writer Jon Wertheim and the editorial staff at Tennis.com.

Tennis Channel will debut a new episode of the magazine show every other Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. EST, until February 27. Each show will then re-air on Tennis Channel.

“We’re happy to have the new season of World of Tennis back on Tennis Channel again,” said David Scott, vice president, programming, Tennis Channel. “Since its inception the series has allowed our viewers to get an insider’s look at some of the most exciting players and pressing issues in the sport today.”

The season finale on February 27 will be a preview of World Tennis Day, which includes BNP Paribas Showdown events in New York City and Hong Kong on March 4. The sixth annual event in New York at Madison Square Garden is part of Tennis Night in America (TNIA) and will feature Victoria Azarenka, Serena Williams, Juan Martin del Potro and Rafael Nadal. TNIA is an annual celebration of the sport in the United States which encourages 10-and-under tennis.

The BNP Paribas Showdown at AsiaWorld-Arena will mark the event’s first year in Hong Kong and will feature Li Na, Caroline Wozniacki, Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe.

“There is a lot of tennis on television, but I think ‘World of Tennis’ separates itself as a unique look at the personalities and stories in the game,” said Jerry Solomon, executive producer and president of StarGames. “It is only possible to present this show with the help of our partners at MSG and BNP Paribas. Collectively, we want to present tennis to the widest possible audience, and this show is a chance to not only showcase tennis but also to give fans a real inside look at the stories and personalities that make the game so compelling.”

Long-time tennis producer Jennie Silverstein will produce “World of Tennis Presented by BNP Paribas” for StarGames and MSG Sports. BNP Paribas, a leader in banking and financial services and the world No. 1 tennis partner, will be presenting sponsor, with additional support being provided by Tennis Magazine, Wilson, Getty Images, USTA, Tennis Night in America and the BNP Paribas Showdown.

Video highlights and uncut versions of the interviews from “World of Tennis Presented by BNP Paribas” are found on www.stargamesinc.com.

More information on the BNP Paribas Showdown events in New York and Hong Kong can be found on www.worldtennisday.com.


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


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.


Sampras, Agassi, McEnroe and Lendl Getting Ready for BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden on February 28

New York, New York – February 3, 2011 — With only weeks remaining before the much anticipated BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden, tennis legends Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl are in preparations for their respective match ups at The World’s Most Famous Arena on February 28, 2011.

The 2011 BNP Paribas Showdown will renew classic rivalries of the 80’s and 90’s, John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl will compete in a one set pro match (first player to win eight games), followed by a best of three set match between Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi.

The official ‘Countdown to The Showdown’ begins Sunday, and will mark the 22 days leading up to the event. The number 22 is significant as it represents the number of Grand Slam titles of Sampras (14) and Agassi (8) combined. The Countdown will be marked on the event website (www.tennisshowdown.com), as well as the event’s Twitter and Facebook pages, with a daily dose of information highlighting the four legendary players in the BNP Paribas Showdown.

Agassi, who will face Sampras in the featured match, recently returned from Taiwan where he was fine tuning his return of serve and overall game during a couple of matches with Marat Safin.  Agassi won both matches in third-set match tie-breaks.  After an emotional final appearance at the 2006 US Open, Agassi returns to New York to face his long-time rival, before joining him in the International Tennis Hall of Fame, where Agassi will be inducted this coming summer.

Sampras, who took Roger Federer to three sets in 2008 at Madison Square Garden is accustomed to these settings and is preparing for a grudge match against Agassi.  Before making his way to New York, Sampras will play in a featured exhibition against Gael Monfils, who is currently ranked No. 12 in the World, on February 7 in San Jose, CA.  Sampras debuted in 1988 and played his last professional tournament in 2002, when he captured the US Open, defeating his rival Agassi in the final.

New York native, John McEnroe is no stranger to Madison Square Garden where he captured the Masters title three times, twice beating his rival Ivan Lendl.   McEnroe will head south to the Delray Beach International Tennis Championship where he will face Jimmy Arias on Feb. 19, Todd Martin on Feb. 20 and Aaron Krickstein on Feb. 21, before heading home to show off his shot making artistry against Lendl on The Garden court one last time.

Lendl, who advanced to the Master’s final at Madison Square Garden a record eight times with winning five titles, has been gearing up for his showdown against McEnroe.  The two legends have history at MSG with Lendl beating McEnroe in the 1983 Masters Final (6-4, 6-4, 6-2), and McEnroe winning back to back titles against Lendl in 1984 (6-3, 6-4, 6-4) and again in 1985 (7-5, 6-0, 6-4).  Recently, McEnroe beat his old foe during a round robin tournament in Adelaide prior to the Australian Open.  Lendl recently was in Berlin, Germany where he beat Carl Uwe Steeb (6-3 5-7 10-7) (tiebreak for the 3rd set) in an exhibition match.

The BNP Paribas Showdown is produced by StarGames and MSG Sports. Tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden box office and all Ticketmaster outlets.

The BNP Paribas Showdown, in partnership with the United States Tennis Association, will continue their efforts to grow youth participation in the sport of tennis through “Tennis Night in America”, a national program which is among the largest grass roots initiatives the sport has ever seen. To find a sign-up location please go to www.tennisnight.com.

After an eight year hiatus professional tennis returned to The World’s Most Famous Arena on March 10, 2008 with the sold-out NetJets Showdown between World No. 1 Roger Federer and former Grand Slam record holder Pete Sampras.

The following year women’s tennis returned to The Garden with the BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup in 2009 and 2010.  Players who have participated include: Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Kim Clijsters, Ana Ivanovic, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Jelena Jankovic.

About BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas (www.bnpparibas.com) is the Eurozone’s leading bank in terms of deposits, and one of the 10 most important banks in the world in terms of net banking income, equity capital and market value. Furthermore, it is one of the 6 strongest banks in the world according to Standard & Poor’s. With a presence in 85 countries and more than 205,000 employees, 165,200 of which in Europe and 15,000 in the United States, BNP Paribas is a global-scale European leader in financial services. It holds key positions in its three activities: Retail banking, Investment Solutions and Corporate & Investment Banking. BNP Paribas also has a significant presence in the United States and strong positions in Asia and the emerging markets. This year, BNP Paribas celebrates its 37th anniversary of its partnership with tennis. Since 1973, BNP Paribas has been actively involved with the sport and has consistently strengthened its commitment since then to support it both locally and worldwide.  BNP Paribas has historically been a privileged partner in all aspects of tennis: as an Official Sponsor of the French Open for 37 years, and a sponsor of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas since 2001, of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas since 2005, and of the BNP Paribas Masters since 1986, as well as other major international tournaments including the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, WTA Bank of the West Classic in California, Master Series Monte Carlo, BNP Paribas Women’s Open in Strasbourg and Grand Prix de Lyon.

MSG Sports owns and operates several premier sports franchises, including the NBA’s New York Knicks, NHL’s New York Rangers, WNBA’s New York Liberty, and the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL). As well as promotes, produces and/or partners on a broad array of world class live sporting events, including world championship boxing, college and high school basketball, track and field, mixed martial arts, gymnastics, tennis, professional bull riding and others. Madison Square Garden is a fully-integrated sports, entertainment and media business. The company is comprised of three business segments: MSG Sports, MSG Entertainment and MSG Media, which are strategically aligned to work together to drive its overall business, and built on a foundation of iconic venues and compelling content that MSG creates, produces, presents and/or distributes through its programming networks and other media assets. MSG Sports consists of the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL), the New York Liberty (WNBA), and the Hartford Whale (American Hockey League). MSG Entertainment is a leader in managing and creating concerts and events at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, the Beacon Theatre, the legendary Chicago Theatre, the Wang Theatre in Boston, and produces the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Radio City Rockettes. MSG Media is comprised of leading television networks MSG, MSG Plus, MSG HD and MSG Plus HD, as well as MSG Interactive, which oversees all company wireless and online initiatives, and Fuse and Fuse HD, the national television network dedicated exclusively to music. The company owns and operates the Madison Square Garden arena complex located in the heart of the New York metropolitan area.  More information is available at www.thegarden.com.

StarGames, LLC (www.stargamesinc.com) is a fully integrated sports marketing, management and entertainment company based outside of Boston, MA. Now in its 16th year, StarGames represents current and former professional athletes, produces original content for mass media distribution, operates its own broadband television channels and produces live and made for television events. StarGames orchestrated the return of tennis to Madison Square Garden with the 2008 NetJets Showdown and the BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup; with tennis legend Ivan Lendl, launched the Champions Academy in Florida for elite junior athletes and most recently produced the Caesars Tribute: A Salute to the Golden Age of American Skating for NBC in Atlantic City, NJ.  StarGames partners on various projects with Lagardere Unlimited which represents the international television rights for the BNP Paribas Showdown.