Former world number ones, Davis Cup standouts and International Tennis Hall of Famers John McEnroe and Jim Courier will battle it out on the Sportime Stadium hard court on Monday, July 22, as the NY Sportimes take on the Texas Wild in a Mylan World TeamTennis matchup. The annual night benefiting the Johnny Mac Tennis Project (JMTP) will also feature fellow Hall of Famer and Mylan WTT Co-Founder Billie Jean King in celebration of the 40th anniversary year of her historic matchup with Bobby Riggs in the famed "Battle of the Sexes."
JMTP provides scholarships, coaching, transportation and other financial assistance to qualified young tennis players in the greater New York area. JMTP benefit nights in previous years have featured the likes of Bjorn Borg (2011) and Andre Agassi (2012). JMTP and SPORTIME Clubs, home of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, have already provided over $1 million in scholarships and no cost programming to young players in NYC and its communities.
"Jim Courier has meant so much to American tennis, and we couldn't be more pleased that he and the Texas Wild will be the opponent for this special night," said Sportime Clubs and NY Sportimes CEO Claude Okin. "To have two of our country's all-time premier players and tennis ambassadors in Jim and in our own Captain and leader, John McEnroe, will make for a very competitive and entertaining evening, but most importantly will ultimately help so many children in New York."
JMTP scholarship recipients attend the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, which is completing its third year at Sportime Randall's Island. Ticket prices for the July 22nd match will be $75, $150 and $300, with additional special VIP packages also available; please consult your tax advisor concerning the tax deductibility of ticket and package purchases. Tickets for the JMTP benefit night on July 22 and for the NY Sportimes home match vs. the Washington Kastles at Randall's Island on July 23rd can be purchased by calling (888) WTT-NYC1 or by visiting www.nysportimes.com. The July 23 match is also benefiting JMTP and features former Sportime, and soon-to-be enshrined International Hall of Fame inductee, Martina Hingis, playing for Washington. Purchasers of tickets to the July 22nd match may elect to receive a ticket to the following night's match for $1.
"The JMTP Benefit night is a highlight of the year for me and for the Johnny Mac Tennis Project," said McEnroe. "My commitment is stronger than ever to the youth of New York, and just as Bjorn and Andre helped make the evening special in years past, getting to compete against Jim again will, I hope, pump people up about American tennis - past and future."
The night will also be part of a year-long celebration of the 40th anniversary of the "Battle of the Sexes" match between King and Riggs, which took place in Houston on Sept. 20, 1973. The spectacle, won by King in straight sets, is often cited as a turning point towards females earning equality in many aspects of American life.
"I am honored and excited to be participating in this benefit, and to help John do what he is doing in his home town of New York City," said Courier. "I live in NYC and I practice at SPORTIME so I see what John and his Academy are accomplishing there. I wanted to do my part to support John's efforts in furthering the development of American tennis and young players in NYC."
As ferocious a competitor as tennis has ever produced, steely in his resolve, unwavering in his convictions, John McEnroe was a left-hander who played with singular verve and sparkle. A New Yorker with rare talent, his imagination knew no boundaries. McEnroe's touch on the volley was golden, and his match playing instincts were remarkably sound. He claimed the US Open crown four times and was victorious at Wimbledon three times. He was an American Davis Cup stalwart, and many believe he may be the greatest doubles player of all time.
Courier's grit and single-mindedness were the twin motors of an immensely successful career. The industrious American was an unflagging competitor who garnered four Grand Slam singles championships during a brilliant career. The big hitting baseliner with the crackling, inside-out forehand and baseball-like two-handed backhand finished 1992 as the No. 1 ranked player in the world. In 1992 and 1995, he played for the championship American Davis Cup teams. Today, he proudly serves as U.S. Davis Cup captain. The ultimate professional, he knew what he wanted and how to go about accomplishing it.
The Sportimes open their Mylan World TeamTennis home schedule on July 9 vs. Springfield (featuring Andy Roddick for Springfield) at SEFCU Arena in Albany, N.Y. New York will play four other matches in Albany, on July 12, 15 (featuring Sloane Stephens for Philadelphia), 16 and 18 (featuring McEnroe vs. Orange County) and the aforementioned two at Sportime Stadium (July 22 vs. Texas, July 23 vs. Washington, featuring former Sportimes star Martina Hingis).
Conference championships are scheduled for Thursday, July 25, at the higher of the top two seeds in each conference, and the season concludes with the Mylan WTT Finals presented by GEICO, on Sunday, July 28, at the site of the Eastern Conference champion.