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Saturday, March 2, 2013

NEWS: Tennis Night in America 2013

The world has once again become a smaller place as we celebrate tennis in both New York and Hong Kong on March 4, 2013. As a way to promote the lifetime sport that already has global appeal, StarGames, producers of the BNP Paribas Showdowns, in partnership with the International Tennis Federation, have designated this date as World Tennis Day all over the globe. As a jump start to the United States Tennis Association's effort to encourage increased participation in the game of tennis, Tennis Night in America will feature, at NYC's Madison Square Garden, Rafael Nadal, Juan Martin Del Potro, Serena Williams, and Victoria Azarenka—four of the high-level professional players on the ATP and WTA tours. The BNP Paribas Showdown sister matches in Hong Kong will feature greats Ivan Lendl, winner of eight Grand Slam titles and current coach of No. 3 Andy Murray against none other than John McEnroe, winner of seven slams and a popular tennis analyst. In addition, Asia's first Grand Slam champion, Li Na will take on former number one Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark.

"Tennis Night in America is the perfect venue to kick off our latest youth registration efforts," says Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA. "The night is sure to generate momentum for youth tennis and create excitement for spring and summer programs at facilities nationwide." Both the ITF and USTA support efforts to bring more kids into the game with the use of more appropriately sized equipment for youth such as smaller racquets, lighter balls and lower nets. Court sizes are also reduced since a six year old shouldn't really need to cover the same amount of court real estate as an adult or even teen player. Picture, for example, a tennis court turned sideways where the width of 36 feet becomes the length, and the length of a standard court from baseline to net accommodates two 18 foot wide courts. This means that eight children could comfortably play this challenging and fun sport on one full-sized court.

Jerry Solomon, executive producer and President of StarGames, Inc., said “Last year more than 2,000 clubs participated in Tennis Night in America activities around the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden. Youth participation in tennis is something we strongly believe in, so it seemed natural to try to build upon the success we’ve had in the U.S. by partnering with the ITF in a global effort with World Tennis Day.”

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