The United States Tennis Association (USTA) today celebrates World Tennis Day, part of its annual effort to get more children into the game by showcasing the lifelong benefits of the sport.
World Tennis Day coincides with the BNP Paribas Showdown at New York’s Madison Square Garden, which this year will feature tennis icons Venus Williams, Andy Roddick, Juan Martin Del Potro, Jack Sock, Kei Nishikori, Nick Kyrgios, Lleyton Hewitt and Garbine Muguruza. Those players will participate in a special “The Americas vs. The World” format. To inspire children to play tennis and provide others with an inside look at World Tennis Day, the USTA will have #PlayForLife children ambassadors serving as honorary members of the “The Americas” and “The World” teams.
USTA’s #PlayForLife ambassadors are advocates of the USTA brand and share a common passion for tennis and sportsmanship. Each ambassador has amassed a sizable social media following and have proven themselves as effective influencers by uniquely documenting their personal tennis stories. In doing so, each has become a role model within their respective peer group. The following will be USTA #PlayForLife ambassadors at World Tennis Day:
- Amadeo Mendez-Robles of Las Vegas, age 4, Instagram
- Jessica Popiol of Hanover Park, Ill., age 11, Instagram
- Kalli Minor of Compton, Calif., age 10, Instagram
- Lleyton Johnson of Columbus, Ohio, age 8, Instagram
- Teddy Brodsky of New York City, age 16, Instagram
For the fourth consecutive year, the USTA Foundation, the national charitable arm of the USTA, will serve as the official charity of the BNP Paribas Showdown. The USTA Foundation will host a reception on World Tennis Day to raise funds for scholarships and programming grants for under-resourced youth in tennis and education programs nationwide. The Foundation supports more than 350 nonprofit youth development organizations that offer free or low-cost tennis and education programming – primarily through the National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) network – to more than 200,000 kids around the country.
The BNP Paribas Showdown is a production of GF Sports and Madison Square Garden. Tickets are on sale now at the Madison Square Garden box office, online at thegarden.com and at all Ticketmaster outlets.
The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level -- from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. A not-for-profit organization with more than 715,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world, and launched the Emirates Airline US Open Series, linking seven summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns approximately 90 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S. and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA’s philanthropic entity, the USTA Foundation, provides grants and scholarships and helps under-resourced youth and individuals with disabilities, and supports wounded, ill and injured service members, veterans and their families. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com, “like” the official Facebook page, facebook.com/usta, or follow @usta on Twitter.