Tennis icons Evert, Serena to star at World Tennis Day reception

March 2, 2016 02:00 PM

By Ashley Marshall,

Come face to face with two of the most successful tennis players in the history of the sport and help tennis give back to the community at the USTA Foundation’s annual fundraising reception.

The gala will be held at the Essex House Hotel in New York City on March 7 and will serve as the prelude to World Tennis Day, a global celebration of the sport that aims to get more children and families into the game than ever before.

Hosted by former world No. 1 Chris Evert and ESPN’s Hannah Storm, the reception will feature appearances by Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Stan Wawrinka and Gael Monfils, all of whom will play an exhibition at Madison Square Garden the following evening.

Between Evert, an 18-time Grand Slam women’s singles champion, and Williams, who will look to tie Steffi Graf's Open era record of 22 major titles this spring, the duo has won 12 US Open titles, 10 French Open crowns, nine Wimbledon trophies and eight Australian Open championships. No combination of any two players from any other country has won more.

The USTA Foundation, which has awarded more than $22 million in grants and scholarships to serve up dreams for thousands of children and adults throughout the country, has been named the official charity of the BNP Paribas Showdown for the third consecutive year.

The money raised during the event will support the Foundation’s work to help under-resourced youth attend tennis and education programs around the country, primarily through the National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) network.

Storm, host of ESPN’s “SportsCenter” and “Face to Face with Hannah Storm,” will lead the discussion of the Foundation’s commitment to utilizing tennis and education to improve the quality of life among our nation’s youth, military heroes and people with disabilities.

Guests will also be entertained by renowned performance painter and finalist from NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” David Garibaldi. Making his second appearance at the USTA Foundation’s fundraising reception, Garibaldi will create an original painting during the event that will be featured in a live auction.

The following night, March 8, Williams and Wozniacki, a two-time US Open finalist, will face off at the BNP Paribas Showdown, as will Wawrinka, a two-time Grand Slam champion, and world No. 24 Monfils, a two-time US Open quarterfinalist.

Tickets for the BNP Paribas Showdown are available at the Madison Square Garden Box Office or through any Ticketmaster outlet.

Supporters can purchase packages that include tickets to the USTA Foundation reception and courtside tickets to attend the 2016 BNP Paribas Showdown by visiting



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