(March 4, 2013) LOS ANGELES – The inaugural LA Tennis Challenge took place on Monday night on the campus of UCLA at the recently renovated Pauley Pavilion. Participating in the event to raise money for charity were world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, Former No. 1 and member of the tennis Hall of Fame Pete Sampras, Bob and Mike Bryan, James Blake, Tommy Haas and former player Justin Gimelstob.
Los Angeles’ ATP World Tour event, the Farmers Classic, their license was sold to Colombian investors who took it to their home country. Former UCLA Bruin Gimelstob wants to keep pro tennis alive in Los Angeles and organized the event.
Singles and doubles exhibition matches took place including Djokovic pairing with his idol Sampras.
Celebrities in attendance included actress Jodie Foster, actor Bruce Willis and actor/comedian and tennis fan Rainn Wilson.
Proceeds from the event are to benefit the Justin Gimelstob Children’s Fund, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, the Novak Djokovic Foundation, Call to Cure and the Southern California Tennis Association’s community tennis initiatives.
All photos by Maria Noble
Audi, Esurance and K-Swiss have each singed on as major sponsors for the inaugural Los Angeles Tennis Challenge featuring World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, Mardy Fish, Pete Sampras and Bob and Mike Bryan to be played March 4 at newly renovated Pauley Pavilion.
“The LA Tennis Challenge is proud to partner with one of the world’s leading carmakers in the premium and supercar segment,” Gimelstob said. “We look forward to building and growing the LA Tennis Challenge into one of the best sporting and social events in Los Angeles.”
Added Fish: “Having Audi, Esurance and K-Swiss as sponsors is a major step in achieving our goals.”
Three exhibition pro-set matches will take place beginning at 7 p.m. Djokovic will take on Los Angeles resident Mardy Fish in singles followed by a doubles match pitting Djokovic and his childhood idol Sampras against Southern California natives Bob and Mike Bryan. An opening singles match between two marquee players will be announced shortly.
Both Djokovic and the Bryan Brothers are coming off huge wins last month in Melbourne Park solidifying each as No. 1 in the world in singles and doubles. Djokovic won his fourth Australian Open singles title while the Bryans captured their all-time best 13th doubles Grand Slam.
“They’re going to be tough,” Mike said of facing the team of Djokovic and Sampras in a first to eight –game pro-set. “Winning a Grand Slam is great, but we have to win in our hometown of L.A. We have to prove to our friends and family that we’re the best.”
Watch this quick Bryan twins interview by Tennis Channel broadcaster and event host Justin Gimelstob by clicking on the image and the CTRL key. Or copy and paste this link:
Players will be playing for charity with proceeds from the event benefiting the Justin Gimelstob Children’s Fund, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, the Novak Djokovic Foundation, Call to Cure and the Southern California Tennis Association’s community tennis initiatives.
“We hope to make the LA Tennis Challenge an annual event, which brings together the community, celebrities and tennis fans to raise money for some very worthy charities and foundations,” Fish said. “It will also grow and promote the sport in Southern California. We hope to establish the LA Tennis Challenge as one of the most important social and sporting events of the year.”
The LA Tennis Challenge will be broadcast by Tennis Channel in the United States.
To learn more about the LA Tennis Challenge go to www.LATennisChallenge.com. Like the event on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LATennisChallenge and follow on Twitter at @LA10sChallenge. For more information you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wozniacki, Kirilenko and Robson “Reflecting” on Their Form Ahead of Australian Open – on a Mirrored Court
By Melinda Samson
(January 13, 2013) MELBOURNE, Australia – On Sunday adidas launched the first “adidas by Stella McCartney” barricade collection of tennis apparelto be worn by tennis players Caroline Wozniacki, Maria Kirilenko and Laura Robson.
The players featured their new outfits on a court of a different kind. Instead of the grass, clay or the hardcourt surfaces they are used to playing on, the collection was unveiled in the world’s first mirror court. The court offered a living kaleidoscope of moving reflections, and allowed the new collection to be showcased from the front, back and sides, all at the same time.
Inspired by the ready to wear collection, the range plays on Stella McCartney’s use of feminine lines that flatter and enhance the female form on court.
The tennis players will wear the range during 2013 Grand Slams, showcasing its leading design qualities, standout aesthetic and performance functionality.
“I always play better when I feel good, that is very important to me,” says Caroline Wozniaki.
“The new adidas by Stella McCartney barricade range makes me feel secure and comfortable on court. The bright color blocking and advanced technology presented in each item I’m wearing gives me the confidence to focus solely on my own performance on court,” said Wozniacki.
To see the new range on court at the Australian Open, watch first round matches between Caroline Wozniaki and Sabine Lisicki, Maria Kirilenko against Vania King and Laura Robson versus Melanie Oudin.
(January 12, 2013) Lleyton Hewitt goes into his 17th Australian Open with a victory at the Kooyong classic invitational exhibition tennis tournament in Melbourne. Hewitt defeated Juan Martin del Potro a 6-1, 6-4 on Saturday for the crown.
The win over No. 7 del Potro, ended a week of victories over top players including Tomas Berdych and Milos Raonic.
“I felt like every match I got better and better and more confident” and “against Berdych and even more so today I felt like I hit the ball as clean as I have in a long time,” Hewitt said.
The 31-year-old former No. 1 moves on to Melbourne to compete in the Australian Open and has a very challenging first-round match against No. 8 seed Janko Tipsarevic on Monday night.
By Abigail Hinto
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic â€“ ranked No. 1 and 2 and the two men who have squared off in the finals of tennisâ€™ last four Majors â€“ will meet again Saturday, July 14, live at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN2, but this time playing for charity as well as bragging rights.Â The exhibition will be played on a grass court in Nadalâ€™s native Spain at Real Madridâ€™s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium only six days after the Gentlemenâ€™s Final at Wimbledon.Â The best-of-three sets match will benefit the Realmadrid Foundation and the Rafa Nadal Foundation.
With his recent victory, Nadal now has won a record seven French Open titles.Â In the previous three Major finals, Djokovic had prevailed, winning his first Wimbledon, completing a career Grand Slam at the US Open and taking the Australian Open championship.
Organizers of the event are hopeful the match will attract more than 80,000 fans, which would make it by far the largest live audience in tennis history.Â Currently, the record of 35,681 people is held by an exhibition in Belgiumâ€™s historic King Baudouin Stadium between Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams on July 8, 2010.Â Williams had been a late substitute for Justine Henin in what was planned as an all-Belgian battle.Â The previous record tennis audience was for the famed â€œBattle of the Sexesâ€ between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs in the Houston Astrodome in September 1973 â€“ 30,472.