Tennis Legends Billie Jean King and John McEnroe Rally on Hudson River Barge to Kick Off National Tennis Month
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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please see press release
05/06/09 - White Plains, N.Y.--Tennis legends Billie Jean King and John McEnroe have played tennis all over the world and on all surfaces. Now they can add a new venue to the list: a barge floating on the Hudson River in New York City. In a day-long celebration to kick off National Tennis Month, King and McEnroe spent the afternoon volleying back and forth in front of the Manhattan skyline, with photographs and video taken to document this unique meeting of the two great champions. They capped the afternoon with a visit to the Statue of Liberty and New York’s South Street Seaport.
"National Tennis Month is a perfect way to get focus on our game,” said King. “It gets the beginners started and serves as a friendly reminder to get your racquet and head back to the tennis court.
"New York City is where I'm from, so we're in a setting that is second-to-none to jump start National Tennis Month,” said McEnroe. “For me, it's about getting even more kids playing our sport."
National Tennis Month is the annual celebration of the outdoor tennis season and part of an industry-wide initiative to increase tennis participation in the United States. And the 12th anniversary of National Tennis Month arrives at a great time for tennis. Recent data from the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association shows that tennis is the fastest-growing traditional sport in the country, with participation increasing 43% since 2000 and 9.6% in the last year alone.
Throughout the month, the USTA will conduct events nationwide to promote tennis, celebrate its growth and increase participation in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Headlining these efforts will be a series of “Tennis Block Parties.” Hosted at public parks, schools and tennis facilities, “Tennis Block Parties” will feature tennis instruction provided by skilled teaching professionals and special guests, and will also include interactive games and attractions offering participants the opportunity to simultaneously learn and enjoy the many benefits of the sport.
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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 730,000 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 Olympus US Open Series linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns the 94 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S., is a minority owner and promotional partner of World TeamTennis, and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA philanthropic entity, USTA Serves, provides grants and scholarships and through tennis, helps underserved youth and people with disabilities to improve academics, build character and strive for excellence. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com.