NEW YORK, April 30, 2012 – Tennis Hall of Famers Andre Agassi and John McEnroe and Martina Hingis will compete as part of the World TeamTennis matchup between the New York Sportimes and Boston Lobsters, the team announced today. In a special benefit night on July 19, proceeds will go towards the Johnny Mac Tennis Project (JMTP), to provide scholarships, coaching, transportation and other financial assistance to qualified young tennis players in the greater New York area. The evening begins at 7 p.m. at Sportime Stadium on Randall’s Island.
Last year, McEnroe faced Bjorn Borg in the first JMTP benefit evening in front of a sold-out Sportimes Stadium crowd.
Johnny Mac Tennis Project recipients will attend the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, which is completing its second year at Sportime Randall’s Island. Tickets for the Benefit night on July 19, and for additional NY Sportimes home matches on July 10, 13, 18 and 25, can be purchased by calling 1-888-WTT-NYC1 or by visiting www.nysportimes.com.
“This year’s Johnny Mac Tennis Project Night will highlight three of the most popular and exciting players ever to play the sport,” said Sportime Clubs and NY Sportimes CEO Claude Okin. “Andre Agassi has become a notable humanitarian and ambassador for tennis as a life changing opportunity. We are thrilled that he will be part of this great night to benefit our efforts to improve the lives of young people and young players here in New York City.”
“I’m committed to giving opportunities to youngsters in the New York area to help them reach their full potential as tennis players and as people through the Johnny Mac Tennis Project,” said McEnroe. “This night is critical in making the JMTP a success, and getting to face Andre in a WTT match will make it even more special.”
Agassi and McEnroe met four times while active on the ATP World Tour, each winning two matches. McEnroe won in 1986 in Stratton Mountain, Vt., and in 1989 in Dallas, while Agassi was victorious in 1988 in Los Angeles and 1992 in the semifinals at Wimbledon.
“Youth tennis and education have always been extremely important to me,” said Agassi, who won 60 career singles titles. Among those were eight Grand Slam crowns, including wins at all four major venues. “I am proud to support John’s program and look forward to competing against him in an exciting match on July 19.”
This will be the fifth appearance in WTT for Agassi, who previously competed for the Sacramento Capitals from 2002-2004 and the Philadelphia Freedoms in 2009.
Bahar Uttam, Owner of the Boston Lobsters, explained, “It is the Lobsters’ pleasure and honor to be supporting what Sportime and John McEnroe are doing in New York, and, of course, we are thrilled to have all-time-great, Hall-of-Famer Andre Agassi joining our team for this 2012 season WTT match. What a great night it will be.”
The July 19 WTT match will feature Agassi and McEnroe competing against each other in both men’s singles and in doubles in the five set WTT format. Martina Hingis will also play for the New York Sportimes that evening as McEnroe’s team member; they will be joined by veteran New York Sportimes players Robert Kendrick, Jesse Witten and Ashley Harkleroad, three of the standouts who helped the squad reach the World TeamTennis finals in 2010.
The 2012 WTT regular season runs from July 9-28, with the top two teams from both the Western and Eastern Conference advancing to the WTT Finals Weekend presented by GEICO, September 14-16, at the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, S.C.
2012 SPORTIMES Home Schedule
July 10 Springfield Lasers, 7 p.m., at Sportime/Randall’s Island
(Sportimes – Martina Hingis)
July 13 Philadelphia Freedoms, 7 p.m., at Sportime/Randall’s Island
(Sportimes – Martina Hingis; Philadelphia – Ryan Harrison)
July 18 Philadelphia Freedoms, 7 p.m., at Sportime/Randall’s Island
(Sportimes – Martina Hingis)
July 19 Boston Lobsters, 7 p.m., at Sportime/Randall’s Island
(Sportimes – Hingis, McEnroe; Boston – Andre Agassi)
July 23 Washington Kastles, 7:30 p.m., at Albany/SEFCU Arena
(Sportimes – Hingis; Washington – Venus Williams)
July 24 Boston Lobsters, 7:30 p.m., at Albany/SEFCU Arena
(Sportimes – Hingis; Boston – John Isner)
July 25 Washington Kastles, 7 p.m., at Sportime/Randall’s Island
(Sportimes – Hingis, McEnroe)
Tickets for Sportimes matches are available by calling 888-WTT-NYC1 or by visiting www.nysportimes.com. For more information on matches in Albany, visit www.NYSportimes.com/Albany or call 518-393-0440.
2012 Sportimes’ partners include USTA Eastern Section, GEICO, USTA, Wilson, DecoTurf, Principal Funds, SPORTIME Clubs, Tennis.com, Arizon Tennis Domes, NY Orthopedics, and Randall’s Island Park Alliance.
About the Johnny Mac Tennis Project
The Johnny Mac Tennis Project, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation whose purpose is to expose young athletes in the greater New York metropolitan area to high level, competitive tennis by raising public and private funds in order to provide scholarships to attend a non-residential tennis academy/training facility, to obtain lessons and to fund the costs and expenses associated with travel to regional, national and international tournaments and on-site coaching at such tournaments.
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