TEAM ELTON DEFEATS TEAM BILLIE JEAN 19-14 TO WIN WTT SMASH HITS
Sharapova, Roddick, McEnroe and Navratilova among tennis stars helping charity event to raise more than $600,000 for Elton John AIDS Foundation
OCTOBER 10, 2016 (Las Vegas) - Charity is always the biggest winner at the WTT Smash Hits presented by Citi event, with some of tennis’ big stars turning out to raise more than $600,000 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on Monday night.
The 2016 edition of Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King’s annual charity tennis pushed the 24-year total to more than $15 million to support HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness programs. On the court, Team Elton got the best of Team Billie Jean with a 19-14 victory in the four-set showdown.
A capacity crowd watched Maria Sharapova’s highly-anticipated appearance as she opened the night pairing up with Andy Roddick for a set of celebrity doubles against Elton John and Martina Navratilova. Sharapova and Roddick got the best of John and Navratilova 3-1 in an entertaining quick set that preceded the World TeamTennis match.
Team Elton took the lead in the first set of the night and never looked back en route to their second consecutive victory and an overall 13-11 series lead. Sharapova and 16-year-old junior Taylor Johnson teamed up in Sharapova’s return to the court but it was the veteran doubles experience of Martina Navratilova and Liezel Huber that took the first set for Team Elton, 5-2.
Former U.S. Davis Cup teammates Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish were too strong for Team Billie Jean’s duo of John McEnroe and Mark Philippoussis in men’s doubles, winning the second set for Team Elton 5-3.
Roddick and Philippoussis faced off in a battle of big serves in men’s singles. Roddick held off Philippoussis 5-3 to build Team Elton’s lead to 15-8 after three sets.
McEnroe and Sharapova rallied in mixed doubles, winning the first set of the night for Team Billie Jean with a 5-3 victory over Roddick and Navratilova and sending the match into Extended Play. Team Billie Jean won the first game in Extended Play but Roddick and Navratilova closed out the set and match by winning the next game for Team Elton.
The evening started with all the players participating in a live auction that raised more than $150,000 of the evening’s totals. The players were active bidders in the auction, with Sharapova winning a ticket package for the Broadway hit “Hamilton” and John McEnroe buying an autographed Elton John piano bench.
The stars were out in Las Vegas on Monday night to support WTT Smash Hits as avid tennis fans and Las Vegas residents Gladys Knight and Mike Tyson took in the action on the multi-colored tennis court just steps away from where Elton John plays his hit show, “The Million Dollar Piano” at Caesars Palace. International recording artists The Tenors opened the night by performing the national anthem.
Official event sponsors include host sponsor Caesars Palace and presenting sponsor Citi. Additional sponsors and partners include AmerisourceBergen, Cashman Photo, Core Academy, DecoTurf, Donnelley Financial Solutions, ??Fanatics, GEICO, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, KXNT News/Talk Radio & CBS Sports Radio - Las Vegas, Marty Hennessy Inspiring Children Foundation, NBC & The CW - Las Vegas,? ?WG Communications Group, Wilson and XS Tennis - Chicago. Ryan Wolfington and USTA Nevada are promotional partners of WTT Smash Hits.
For more on WTT Smash Hits, visit www.WTTSmashHits.com.
For more information on the Elton John AIDS Foundation, visit www.EJAF.org.
WTT SMASH HITS PRESENTED BY CITI
Monday, October 10, 2016 – Caesars Palace in Las Vegas
*Celeb set – Andy Roddick/Maria Sharapova def. Sir Elton John/3-1 (*does not count towards overall score)
Team Elton def. Team Billie Jean 19-14
Women’s Doubles: Martina Navratilova / Liezel Huber (Team Elton) def. Maria Sharapova / Taylor Johnson (Team Billie Jean) 5-2
Men’s Doubles: Andy Roddick / Mardy Fish (Team Elton) def. Mark Philippoussis / John McEnroe (Team Billie Jean) 5-3
Men’s singles: Andy Roddick (Team Elton) def. Mark Philippoussis (Team Billie Jean) 5-3
Mixed Doubles: John McEnroe/Maria Sharapova (Team Billie Jean) def. Andy Roddick / Martina Navratilova (Team Elton) 5-3
Extended Play: John McEnroe/Maria Sharapova (Team Billie Jean) tied Andy Roddick / Martina Navratilova (Team Elton) 1-1
2016 WTT Smash Hits – Organizations & Charities
About Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF)
At the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), we believe AIDS can be beaten. We act on that belief by raising funds for evidence-based programs and policies and also by speaking out with honesty and compassion about the realities of people’s lives. Sir Elton John created EJAF almost 25 years ago, first in the United States in 1992 and then in the United Kingdom in 1993. Through hard work and with the help of our generous friends and supporters, the two foundations together have raised more than $350 million over the past quarter century to combat stigma, prevent infections, provide treatment and services, and motivate governments to end AIDS. The U.S. foundation focuses its efforts on programs in the United States, the Americas, and the Caribbean, while the U.K. foundation funds HIV-related work in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Join us in speaking out, taking action, and contributing to our efforts to achieve a world without AIDS. For more information, please visit www.ejaf.org.
World-renowned Las Vegas resort and casino and voted “Best Strip Hotel” in 2015 by the readers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Caesars Palace features 3,980 hotel guest rooms and suites, including the all-new Julius Tower, the 181-room Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace and Forbes Star Award-winning The Laurel Collection by Caesars Palace. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2016, the 85-acre resort offers 25 diverse dining options including the award-winning Bacchanal Buffet, as well as celebrity chef-branded restaurants by Gordon Ramsay, Bobby Flay, Nobu Matsuhisa, Guy Savoy, Brian Malarkey’s Searsucker Las Vegas and MR CHOW. The resort also features nearly 130,000 square feet of casino space, a five-acre Garden of the Gods pool oasis, the luxurious Qua Baths & Spa, COLOR Salon by celebrity hairstylist Michael Boychuck, five wedding chapels and gardens, and the new 75,000-square-foot OMNIA Nightclub with the top DJs such as Calvin Harris, Martin Garrix and Steve Angello. The 4,300-seat Colosseum, Billboard Magazine’s Venue of the Decade, spotlights world-class entertainers including Celine Dion, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Reba, Brooks & Dunn, Mariah Carey and Jerry Seinfeld. The Forum Shops at Caesars showcases more than 160 boutiques and restaurants. For more information, please visit caesarspalace.com or the Caesars Entertainment Las Vegas media room. Find Caesars Palace on Facebook and follow on Twitter and Instagram.