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Kournikova, Serena, Haas Join Roddick, Davenport In Advanta WTT Smash Hits

August 27, 2009 04:43 PM

Anna Kournikova, one of the world’s most popular athletes, Serena Williams and Tommy Haas, ranked No. 18 in singles on the ATP Tour, have been added to the lineup for Advanta WTT Smash Hits, the charity tennis event co-hosted by Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King. Kournikova and Haas will join Andy Roddick, Lindsay Davenport and world doubles No. 1 Liezel Huber on December 8 at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on the Louisiana State University campus in Baton Rouge. 

Southern Tennis Hall of Fame member Chanda Rubin, of Layfayette, La., and Devin Britton, 2009 NCAA Division I singles champion when he played for Ole Miss, and Jan-Michael Gambill will also play.

Captained by King and John, the players will form two teams and play the World TeamTennis format. John will also participate in a celebrity doubles match to open the event.  Haas and Roddick are expected to face off in the evening’s men’s singles showdown. 

Haas, who was ranked as high as No. 2 in the world in 2002, jumped back into the ATP top 20 this summer with a semifinal finish at Wimbledon where he posted a victory over world No. 4 Novak Djokovic before losing to eventual champion Roger Federer.  Haas also won an Olympic silver medal in singles for Germany in 2000 and has won 12 career singles titles on the ATP Tour.   

 WTT Smash Hits
For the first time ever, World TeamTennis will be live streaming our annual WTT Smash Hits charity tennis event.

Kournikova, a longtime supporter of Advanta WTT Smash Hits, is a two-time Australian Open doubles champion and reached career high rankings of No. 1 in doubles and No. 8 in singles.  During her career, Kournikova had singles wins over some of the top names in the sport, including Lindsay Davenport, Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Jennifer Capriati and Martina Hingis. This native Russian, who won 16 career WTA Tour doubles titles, also plays for the St. Louis Aces of the Advanta World TeamTennis Pro League.

Reserved tickets are $30, $65 and $100, and are available through the LSU Box Office or by calling 800-960-8587.  Tickets can be ordered online at http://www.wtt.com/smashhits. Tickets can be ordered online at by clicking here. Go to this site for more information: www.wtt.com.

Special VIP ticket packages are also available through the Pennington Family Foundation for $1,000.  These tickets include exclusive VIP courtside seating and admission to the Smash Hits VIP Reception and Auction which will be attended by John, King and all players.  Auction items are expected to include a tennis lesson with Roddick, John’s piano bench and King’s personal Centre Court Wimbledon tickets.  For more information on the VIP Reception, contact Paige Sharber at 225-928-8346.

Smash Hits has raised more than $9 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) and various local AIDS charities since 1993.  This year’s event, presented by the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation and hosted by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, will benefit EJAF and AIDS charities serving the Greater Baton Rouge area.

USTA members will receive a 5% discount (limit of of six per order) by using the code: USTABR.

There is a 10% off for groups of 10 people or more that is only valid on seats in the $65 and $30 pricing levels. Use the code: GROUP.

Special VIP ticket packages are also available through the Pennington Family Foundation for $1,000. These tickets include exclusive VIP courtside seating and admission to the Smash Hits VIP Reception and Auction which will be attended by John, King and all players. Auction items are expected to include a tennis lesson with Roddick, John’s piano bench and King’s personal Centre Court Wimbledon tickets. For more information on the VIP Reception, contact Paige Sharber at 225-928-8346.

Smash Hits has raised more than $9 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) and various local AIDS charities since 1993. This year’s event, presented by the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation and hosted by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, will benefit EJAF and AIDS charities serving the Greater Baton Rouge area.

Davenport is a three-time Grand Slam singles champion, winning the 2000 Australian Open, 1999 Wimbledon and the 1998 U.S. Open singles championships, along with the gold medal in singles at the 1996 Olympic Games. She has won 55 career singles titles and 37 doubles titles on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour and finished as the year-end world No. 1 four times (1998, 2001, 2004, 2005). Earlier this summer, she and husband Jon Leach welcomed their second child Lauren, who joins her brother Jagger who was born in June 2007.

Huber is part of the world’s top-ranked doubles team with partner Cara Black. Earlier this month, Huber won her 39th career doubles title and her fifth of the 2009 season in Cincinnati. She teamed with Bob Bryan to win the 2009 French Open Mixed Doubles and has won five doubles Grand Slam titles with Black, including the 2008 US Open. Huber recently finished her 10th World TeamTennis season, leading the Springfield Lasers to the WTT Finals where they were defeated by the Washington Kastles.

Captained by King and John, the players will form two teams and play the World TeamTennis format. John will also participate in a celebrity doubles match to open the event. Additional participants will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

For more information on Advanta WTT Smash Hits, visit www.WTT.com/SmashHits .

About Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF):
The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) was established in the United States in 1992 (EJAF-US) and in the United Kingdom in 1993 (EJAF-UK) by founder and chairman Sir Elton John. Together, both entities have raised over $150 million to support HIV/AIDS prevention and service programs in 55 countries around the globe since inception. Today, EJAF is one of the world's leading nonprofit HIV/AIDS organizations supporting innovative HIV prevention programs, efforts to eliminate stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS, and direct care and support services for people living with HIV/AIDS. EJAF-US’s current grant-making priorities target HIV prevention programs in the Southern United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America; HIV prevention and care services for highly marginalized and vulnerable populations; and HIV/AIDS prevention education and the promotion of sexual health for adolescents. For more information, please visit www.ejaf.org .

About World TeamTennis (WTT):
World Team Tennis (WTT) showcases both the best in professional and recreational team tennis. In the Advanta WTT Pro League, co-founded by Billie Jean King, the biggest names in the world play using the innovative co-ed team format. The Advanta WTT Recreational League also operates co-ed team leagues and events. The United States Tennis Association is a minority owner and promotional partner of World TeamTennis. For more information, visit www.WTT.com .

About Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation (www.penningtonfamilyfoundation.org/):

During their lives, Claude B. “Doc” Pennington and his wife, Irene Wells Pennington were noted philanthropists and volunteers. In 1982, their private family foundation, the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation, was established to share their success with the community that had been an important part of their lives.

The Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation provides philanthropic support through organizations who promote the overall well-being of families and communities. Much of the Foundation’s support is given to nonprofits and agencies that provide direct service to people in need, from disadvantaged youth to the medically underserved.

The Foundation’s giving primarily focuses on the organizations and agencies within or near the Greater Baton Rouge area and surrounding parishes. This includes East and West Baton Rouge, East and West Feliciana, Ascension, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, and Iberville Parishes. For more information, visit www.penningtonfamilyfoundation.org.

About Baton Rouge Area Foundation ( www.BRAF.org ):
The Baton Rouge Area Foundation provides two essential functions for the capital region. One, the Foundation connects philanthropists with capable nonprofits to make sure the needs of our communities are met. Last year, the Foundation and its donors provided $18.8 million in charitable grants across the region – and the world. Two, the Foundation invests in and manages pivotal projects that improve the quality of life. Our Plan Baton Rouge initiative spearheaded the downtown revitalization plan and now is working to revive Old South Baton Rouge. Our Interstate 10/12 corridor project is linking the economies of 12 parishes in new ways to create jobs and wealth. We are working with health care and education reform. For more information, visit www.BRAF.org.

 

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