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New York City Kicks Off “USA Tennis Month” in Style

April 21, 2003 03:50 PM

Tennis stars Andy Roddick, James Blake and Alexandra Stevenson, along with TV personality Daisy Fuentes and rock group The Smithereens, kicked off 2003 US Open tickets sales and USA Tennis Month with “Rock & Rally,” a free tennis and music festival April 28 in New York City’s Rockefeller Center. The USTA put a tennis court on the famed Rockefeller Center rink and U.S. Davis Cup Captain Patrick McEnroe, U.S. Davis Cup Coach Jim Courier, and U.S. Fed Cup Coach Zina Garrison played with fans on court and at interactive game stations at the event.

Tickets for the US Open, the highest annually attended sporting event in the world, went on sale Monday, April 28 at 9 a.m. ET. The 2003 US Open will be held Monday, August 25, through Sunday, September 7. Tickets for the 2003 US Open can be purchased at usopen.org, by calling 1-866-OPEN-TIX, and at Ticketmaster locations nationwide.

The USTA and its 17 regional sections, in conjunction with Community Tennis Associations (CTAs) throughout the country and the National Recreation & Park Association (NRPA), will hold over 75 free “USA Tennis Rock & Rally” festivals nationwide throughout the month of May to celebrate the start of the outdoor tennis season. People can find out more about “USA Tennis Rock & Rally” festivals, programs and other activities in their communities by logging onto USTA.com.

Throughout the month of May, community tennis associations, tennis facilities, clubs and schools throughout the USTA Southern Section will host a variety of unique and exciting tennis festivals, carnivals and events where visitors can watch, try and learn tennis. Check out what is being offered near you!

Fuentes, host of the 2003 Miss USA Contest and star of “StyleWorld” on WE: Women’s Entertainment network, will host the event and The Smithereens will perform a free, 30-minute concert. In addition, there will be interactive games and attractions for people of all ages and abilities.

“Tennis and music are two of my passions,” said Roddick. “Rock & Rally is so cool because it brings both of these things together. With the event being held at Rock Center in New York City--home of the US Open--there is a real buzz in the air which makes you want to jam."

“I had such a blast at last year’s Rock & Rally that I’m thrilled to be a part of the action again this year,” said Blake. “Playing tennis, enjoying the tunes and getting people out on the court is what it’s all about."

“Rock & Rally is a great opportunity for everybody to grab a racquet and get out and play,” said Stevenson. “Hopefully fun events like this one and others throughout USA Tennis Month will introduce even more people to this great game.

Roddick, No. 5 in the world, reached the semifinals of the 2003 Australian Open, winning an epic five-hour, five-set match en route, and was a quarterfinalist at Indian Wells in March. In 2002, he collected two ATP singles titles in Houston and Memphis and a doubles title in Houston.

Blake, ranked No. 16 in the world, was a semifinalist in San Jose in February, and a quarterfinalist at Indian Wells. He reached his first ATP singles final in Memphis in 2002 facing U.S. Davis Cup teammate Roddick.

Stevenson, No. 27 in the world, will make her Fed Cup debut this weekend in Lowell, Mass., when the U.S. faces the Czech Republic. She holds one WTA Tour doubles title (partnering with Serena Williams) and represented the U.S. in the 1999 Pan American games. Stevenson had her best Grand Slam finish at Wimbledon in 1999, as the first woman qualifier to reach the semifinals.

USA Tennis Month is a key component of the USA Tennis Plan for Growth, the most ambitious initiative spearheaded by the USTA in partnership with the Tennis Industry Association to increase tennis participation in communities across the U.S.

The Smithereens are one of the most influential and critically acclaimed bands of the past two decades, with two platinum albums, one gold album and numerous Top 40 hits. The Smithereens have recorded 12 full-length albums, including platinum-certified “Especially For You,” “Smithereens Eleven,” and their most recent release, “God Save the Smithereens.” Their hits include “Only a Memory,” “A Girl Like You,” “Too Much Passion,” “Blood and Roses,” “Top of the Pops,” and “Behind the Wall of Sleep.”

Rockefeller Center is co-owned and managed by Tishman Speyer Properties and is the site of numerous public exhibits and events, including the New York International Orchid Show and the upcoming Centennial of Flight exhibit that will take place July 29 - August 18. Each day an estimated 250,000 people walk through the Rockefeller Plaza complex, which is home to the most famous Christmas Tree in the world.

The United States Tennis Association is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the United States and is a not-for-profit organization with more than 670,000 members. It owns and operates the US Open and selects the teams that compete in Davis Cup, Fed Cup and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It invests all its resources to promote and develop the growth of tennis, from the grass roots to the professional levels.




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