2014/07/24

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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WTT Smash Hits Raises Over $500,000 for Charities


Team Elton defeats Team Billie Jean 19-18

 

Cleveland (October 27, 2011) — Several of the biggest names in tennis came together at the 19th annual WTT Smash Hits presented by GEICO on Thursday night at Cleveland Public Hall, raising more than $500,000 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland.  Team Elton rallied to win the match over Team Billie Jean 19-18 in front of a crowd of 3,477 fans.

 

Team Elton John bounced from an early 10-3 deficit when local favorite Lauren Davis of Gates Mills, Ohio, ignited a comeback with a 5-1 singles win over Coco Vandeweghe of Team Billie Jean.  After Andy Roddick pulled Team Elton even with a 5-3 win in men’s singles, he won the deciding Supertiebreaker 7-1 to give Team Elton the 19-18 overall match victory.

 

“Lauren Davis pulled out an amazing performance to put us back in it,” John said afterwards. With the win, Team Elton broke a 9-9 tie in the overall series.

 

In its 19-year history, WTT Smash Hits has raised more than $10.5 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and local charities throughout the U.S.  “You have to make sure you can give the money raised to the right people,” said John during a pre-match press conference.  “Our challenge now is to get medicine to people who can’t afford it, and get rid of the stigma that’s still associated with AIDS.  Some people who get AIDS are ashamed of having it and don’t tell anyone or get tested. You don’t get ashamed if you have cancer. You go get your medicine and treatment.”
Before the on-court action began, the co-hosts and players attended a pre-match reception and live auction.  The top auction items of the night were the two popular Billie Jean King hitting sessions, which King served up for $17,000 each.  Other auction items were a 2012 Super Bowl Package, two Elton John-signed piano benches, hitting sessions with Andy Roddick and Martina Navratilova, and a French Open package.  The live and silent auctions raised more than $155,000 of the evening’s total.
Following the auction, an exciting night of tennis took center stage.  Sir Elton John kicked the evening off, partnering Martina Navratilova to a 4-3 (5-4) victory against John McEnroe and Amelie Mauresmo in an entertaining celebrity doubles set. At 1-1, the music legend delighted the crowd, ripping a serve out wide and charging the net to put away an overhead smash for a winner, which received a standing ovation. On a deciding set point for both teams in the nine point tiebreak, John clinched the win with a crosscourt forehand return winner.

 

Though John triumphed to start the night, it was Team Billie Jean that came out firing in the opening set of men’s doubles. The combination of John McEnroe’s craftiness at the net and Jan-Michael Gambill’s powerful serves led the pair to a 5-2 win over Smash Hits rookie Mark Knowles and seven-time participant Andy Roddick.

 

Martina Navratilova and Coco Vandeweghe cruised past Lauren Davis and Amelie Mauresmo 5-1 to give Team Billie Jean a commanding 10-3 lead heading into the third set. Navratilova set her teammate up several times, utilizing her years of experience in doubles to open up the court.

 

Trailing by seven games, Team Elton needed a spark, and they found it in local teenager Lauren Davis.  The teenager, who grew up in the Cleveland area and now trains at Evert Tennis Academy, topped Vandeweghe 5-1 in women’s singles to close Team Elton’s deficit to 11-8 at the halfway point. The 18-year-old Davis impressed with her well-struck backhands.

 

“It’s a great experience playing with Sir Elton John… I love his music,” Davis said. “Growing up watching these players on TV, it’s so cool [to be here].”

 

In a hard-fought mixed doubles set, Mauresmo and Roddick prevailed 5-4 (4) versus Navratilova and Gambill to move Team Elton within one game heading into the final set. With both teams having set point, Roddick closed it out with a nifty backhand volley winner to give Team Elton its second straight set.

 

Roddick broke Gambill to take a 3-1 lead in the final set, and held on for a 5-3 win in men’s singles, tying the score at 18-18 to send the event into a deciding Supertiebreaker. From there, Roddick took over, taking it 7-1 to give Team Elton the 19-18 match victory.

 

GEICO is the presenting sponsor of WTT Smash Hits, which is hosted by Medical Mutual of Ohio.  For more information on WTT Smash Hits, visit www.WTT.com/SmashHits.

 

 

Celebrity Set (does not count towards final score):  Elton John/Martina Navratilova def. John McEnroe/Amelie Mauresmo 4-3 (5-4 in Tiebreak)

 

 

Final Results – WTT Smash Hits presented by GEICO at Public Hall in Cleveland, Ohio

Team Elton def. Team Billie Jean 19-18 (7-1 Supertiebreaker)

Men’s Doubles:  John McEnroe/Jan-Michael Gambill (Team Billie Jean) def. Andy Roddick/Mark Knowles (Team Elton) 5-2

Women’s Doubles:    Martina Navratilova/Coco Vandeweghe (Team Billie Jean) def. Amelie Mauresmo/Lauren Davis (Team Elton) 5-1

Women’s Singles:  Lauren Davis (Team Elton) def. Coco Vandeweghe (Team Billie Jean) 5-1

Mixed Doubles:  Andy Roddick/Amelie Mauresmo (Team Elton) def. Jan-Michael Gambill/Martina Navratilova (Team Billie Jean) 5-4

Men’s Singles:   Andy Roddick (Team Elton) def. Jan-Michael Gambill (Team Billie Jean) 5-3

Supertiebreaker – Men’s Singles: Andy Roddick (Team Elton) def. Jan-Michael Gambill (Team Billie Jean) 1-0 (7-1)

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John McEnroe Joins WTT Smash Hits

John McEnroe has joined the field for WTT Smash Hits presented by GEICO, the annual charity event co-hosted by Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King.  McEnroe will make his first Smash Hits appearance since 2003 on Oct. 27 at Cleveland’s Public Hall.  American Coco Vandeweghe has also signed on for the one-night event.

The lineup includes Andy Roddick, Martina Navratilova and Amelie Mauresmo.  For more information www.WTT.com/SmashHits

WTT Smash Hits has raised more than $10 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) and various local AIDS charities since 1993.  This year’s event will benefit EJAF and the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland.  The 2011 event is produced by World TeamTennis in association with the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.

Captained by King and John, the players will form two teams and play a match using the World TeamTennis (WTT) coed team format.   The music legend will also participate in a celebrity doubles match to open the event.  Additional participants will be announced in the upcoming weeks.  King and John have split the series so far with nine wins each.

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