The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) is pleased to announce that tennis star Maria Sharapova will join Mardy Fish, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Mark Philippoussis, and Andy Roddick to headline World TeamTennis (WTT) Smash Hits at Caesars Palace, a charity night of tennis co-hosted by longtime friends Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King on Monday, October 10, 2016. Also joining the line-up is former world No. 1 doubles standout Liezel Huber. Tennis action is set for 6:30 p.m. PT on a specially-constructed tennis court in the valet parking lot off of Caesars Palace Drive with the pre-match VIP Reception and Auction kicking off at 5:00 p.m.
This will be Ms. Sharapova's WTT Smash Hits debut. "I am really excited to get back on the court for a great cause," said Sharapova. "I have been wanting to play this event for Billie and Elton for a long time so I am looking forward to a great night of tennis."
Last year's event at Caesars Palace raised more than $1 million, bringing the historic total to more than $14 million for EJAF and various local AIDS charities since 1993. Elton, Billie Jean, and all players will participate in the pre-match live auction, which will include an Elton John signed piano bench and Billie Jean's Wimbledon tickets among other items.
Captained by Elton and Billie Jean, the players will form two teams and play a WTT match featuring singles and doubles matches. Elton will participate in a celebrity doubles match to open the event. Last year, Team Elton took a 12-11 edge in the overall series with a 17-11 win over Team Billie Jean.
"It is always such a great pleasure to co-host this wonderful event with my dear friend Billie Jean King, and I'm absolutely thrilled to be returning to Caesars Palace for some more amazing tennis," said Sir Elton John. "This family-friendly event helps to raise awareness about the continuing challenges of the AIDS epidemic both locally and nationally and to raise urgently needed dollars for community-based HIV prevention, education, advocacy, treatment, and care services. I urge all tennis fans and concerned citizens in the Las Vegas area to support this event and bring their families for a wonderful evening of tennis for a great cause."
Caesars Palace, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is also home to Elton John's hit show, "The Million Dollar Piano."
Tickets for WTT Smash Hits are available through WTTSmashHits.com or axs.com, or by calling The Colosseum at Caesars Palace box office at (866) 320-9763 or AXS at (888) 929-7849. All seating will be reserved and have chairbacks. VIP seats, which include admission to the pre-match VIP Reception and Live Auction, are $545. For the tennis action only, Premium Reserved chairback seats are $136.25 and Reserved chairback seats are $59.95. Ticket prices include Live Entertainment Tax as assessed by the state of Nevada.
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 information on WTT Smash Hits, visit WTTSmashHits.com.
About EJAF: At the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), we believe AIDS can be beaten. We act on that belief by raising funds for effective programs and policies, and also by speaking out with honesty and compassion about the realities of people's lives. Sir Elton John created EJAF over twenty 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 network of kind, amazing, creative, and generous friends and supporters, the two foundations together have raised more than $350 million over the past two decades 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.
About Mylan World TeamTennis (WTT): Mylan World TeamTennis showcases the best in professional and recreational team tennis with the innovative team format co-founded by Billie Jean King in the 1970s. Professional teams compete for the King Trophy, the league's championship trophy named after King. In July 2015, Mylan WTT became the fifth major professional team sports league in the U.S. to reach the 40th season milestone. On the recreational side of the sport, the Mylan WTT Recreational League operates team leagues and events. For more information, visit www.WTT.com.
About Caesars Palace: 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.