World Tennis Day, first staged in 2013, was the idea of Jerry Solomon, CEO of StarGames and is run in collaboration with the International Tennis Federation and aims to promote tennis and increase participation among players.
This year will see showdown events staged in three cities; Hong Kong, London and New York. Alongside these high-profile events, national tennis associations in more than 50 countries will help local clubs and communities organize participation events to get people playing tennis. Nations already signed up, include the UK and range from Argentina to Yemen.
Earls Court 2 is the venue for the UK Showdown event, where on March 3, in an evening event, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi will renew a rivalry that spans 34 matches and included two meetings at Wimbledon, 1999 final and a quarter final in 1993.
5000 spectators will be treated to the re-match as well as a match up between Ivan Lendl and Pat Cash, a recreation of the 1987 Wimbledon final when Cash got the better of his Czech opponent.
Tickets to the event are being sold through SeeTickets and StubHubUK. Corporate hospitality is also available at the event.
In Hong Kong Li Na will play Sam Stosur and Tomas Berdych faces Lleyton Hewitt while in New York’s Madison Square Garden Andy Murray will play Novak Djokovic and the Bryan Brothers will play the McEnroe siblings.
The Financial Times and Getty Images are sponsors of World Tennis Day.
“The response to our plans for the World Tennis Day Showdown presented by Financial Times in London has been tremendous,” said Solomon. “The appetite for tennis in this market is really incredible, so it’s not surprising there’s this kind of excitement to see four legends of the game together at an iconic venue like Earls Court.
“What makes this showdown unique, like its counterpart events in Hong Kong and New York, is the opportunity to put world class corporate hospitality in place alongside an event with these tennis stars. It’s not too late to be a part of this sensational evening.”
Aside from the glitz and glamour of the showdown events, World Tennis Day is aimed at promoting tennis around the world.
TIA UK members are encouraged to offer tennis fans something special on March 3. “Potentially this gives us an opportunity to promote tennis goods and services to tennis fans as the world joins together to promote tennis,” said Brett Watson TIA UK Executive Director. “It’s a great opportunity for the industry to create a noise and could help raise the profile of tennis at a time in the UK when the summer seems a long time away.”
If you are interested in organising an event there are plenty of details on the ITF website, including marketing material to help promote events and the World Tennis Day website has lots of information about the events and tickets and hospitality.
During World Tennis Day the ITF will be engaging in a social media campaign and will be asking for professional players, celebrities, and participants to show their support for the event by posting an “I support World Tennis Day” message on the official World Tennis day Instagram, Twitter and facebook pages and using the hashtag #worldtennisday.