Tennis continues to grow in the U.S. as it returns to Madison Square Garden, New York, NY on Monday, March 5th, for the BNP Paribas Showdown.The event also known as "Tennis Night in America" has annually marked the start of the tennis season in the United States. A month of professional events follows that include the BNP Paribas Open and Sony Ericsson Open.
Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA says "The night is sure to generate momentum for youth tennis and create excitement for spring and summer programs at facilities nationwide." Special events and programs are rolling out across the country designed to get more kids playing the sport for a lifetime. This is the USTA’s largest-ever youth tennis recruitment effort.And there has never been a better time to involve kids in tennis with the new 10 and Under Tennis format internationally accepted as the standard for youth enjoyment, progress and competition in the game.
The BNP Paribas Showdown 2012 will showcase two matches: three-time Grand Slam champion and currently world number 2 Maria Sharapova of Russia takes on Caroline Wozniaki of Denmark ranked number 4. Following this ladies battle, All-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer of Switzerland goes up against U.S. favorite Andy Roddick. They will revisit their intense battle at the 2009 Wimbledon championships where Federer captured his 15th Grand Slam title–breaking the tie with Pete Sampras for the most in history–during the five set marathon that lasted four hours and 16 minutes on Centre Court at the All-England Club. Both ladies and gentlemen's matches are set for best two-out-of-three sets.
"Playing in Madison Square Garden has always been a dream of mine,” said Sharapova. “Everyone wants to play there at least once in their career. I look forward to coming back to New York for the Showdown."Roddick added, "I have never had a chance to play at the Garden before and to play Roger there will make it a special night. I am really looking forward to a great event."
The BNP Paribas Showdown is produced by MSG Sports and StarGames. Tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden box office, online at www.thegarden.com and all Ticketmaster outlets. For more information fans can visit www.tennisshowdown.com.
In 2011, four tennis legends took the court: John McEnroe vs. Ivan lendl and Pete Sampras vs. Andre Agassi. These were the first nationally-televised professional matches on a court with 60-foot blended lines, for the 10 and Under Tennis program, on a 78-foot regulation court. This event became THE event to showcase professional tennis legends as well as display the new way of tennis with shorter courts, smaller racquets and softer and slower tennis balls designed for youth.