21st ANNUAL Mylan WTT Smash Hits presented by GEICO
November 17 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Walt Disney World Resort
Benefiting the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Hope and Help of Central Florida
Some of tennis’ biggest names and brightest stars are heading to Disney World.
Top-ranked American John Isner, 2013 Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli and rising U.S. stars Vicky Duval and Taylor Townsend have been added to the lineup for Mylan WTT Smash Hits presented by GEICO. They join a field that also includes former world No. 1s Andy Roddick and Venus Williams. The annual charity event is co-hosted by Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King and will be held on Sunday, Nov. 17 at the HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla. Robert and Tricia Earl are the local hosts.
Over the past two decades, Mylan WTT Smash Hits has raised more than $11.5 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) and various local AIDS charities since 1993. This year’s 21st annual event will benefit EJAF and the Hope and Help Center of Central Florida. A portion of the funds raised at the pre-match VIP Reception and Auction will be specifically targeted for local programs.
Isner, ranked No. 16 in the world, has won seven singles titles on the ATP Tour. Isner has won two singles titles this year in Atlanta and Houston, and he also has match wins over world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 7 Juan Martin del Potro in Cincinnati. Isner was part of tennis history at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships when he played the longest professional tennis match in history by defeating Nicolas Mahut in 11 hours and 5 minutes over three days of play. Isner, the current 2013 season aces leader on the ATP World Tour, is expected to battle another big server Andy Roddick in men’s singles at Mylan WTT Smash Hits.
Bartoli surprised many in the sports world with her first Grand Slam singles title at the 2013 Wimbledon Championships as the 15th-seeded Frenchwoman triumphed with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Sabine Lisicki. She had previously advanced to the Wimbledon final in 2007 where she lost to Venus Williams. The world No. 7 has won eight singles and three doubles titles on the WTA Tour.
Duval and Townsend are two of the brightest rising stars in American tennis. The 17-year-old Duval burst onto the national stage with an upset win over former US Open champion Samantha Stosur in the opening round of the US Open. Duval quickly became a fan favorite with her personality and gritty determination, and has been the focus of the media spotlight since the US Open with a recent appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Duval also played Mylan World TeamTennis this summer for the Philadelphia Freedoms where she forged a friendship with team owner and league co-founder Billie Jean King.
Townsend, 17, finished the 2012 season as the world’s top-ranked junior player after winning four Grand Slam junior titles in singles and doubles. She captured the junior singles and doubles titles at the 2012 Australian Open, and she added the junior doubles titles at last year’s Wimbledon and the US Open.
The event will feature a Mylan WTT match with two teams captained by King and John. Tennis action is set for 6 p.m. ET with the pre-match VIP Reception and Auction kicking off at 4:30 p.m. King and John have split the two-decade series with 10 wins each. King’s squad bested Team Elton last year 19-17 in Overtime.
Special VIP ticket packages, including VIP courtside seating and admission to the VIP Reception and Auction, will also be available for $500 and will directly benefit the Hope and Help Center. John, King and all players will participate in the pre-match live auction, which will include an Elton John-signed piano bench and King’s Wimbledon tickets among other items. To buy VIP ticket packages or for more information, call (407) 574-2599.
A number of discounted travel packages, ranging from hotel only to a full travel package with hotel, tennis tickets and local attraction passes, are available at www.orlandogaytravel.com/smashhits or by calling (321) 800-3947.
Official event sponsors include Mylan, GEICO, Adecco, Wilson, DecoTurf, Zebra Coalition, SUNNY 1059, Forevermark Diamond, Wipro, Orlando Magazine and Planet Hollywood Foundation.
For more information on Mylan WTT Smash Hits presented by GEICO, visit www.WTTSmashHits.com.