baton rouge

A Smash Hit In Baton Rouge

There was great fun and great tennis had Tuesday night in Baton Rouge, La., as Elton John and Billie Jean King captained their respective teams at the annual WTT Smash Hits event. Elton John’s team, that featured Serena Williams and Tommy Haas, defeated Billie Jean King’s team that featured Andy Roddick and Lindsay Davenport. Smash Hits entered its 17th year looking to build on the more than $9 million it has raised for the Elton John AIDs Foundation and various AIDs charities in host cities. For more information on World Team Tennis, go to For more detailed information on the evening, read here –

Photos courtesy of Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA.

SM_SMASH_HITS_09_021SM_SMASH_HITS_09_004Serena Elton press conferenceAK-Smash-Hits-2009-B2009-Smash-Hits-group-shot2009-Smash-Hits-group-shot

USTA Announces Ten Finalists In Its First-Ever Search To Name America’s “Best Tennis Town”

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., July 16, 2009 – The USTA announced today that ten finalists have been selected– from an initial group of 56 cities that submitted entries—in its “Best Tennis Town” competition. Fans across the country can now vote for the community that they feel best exemplifies the passion, excitement, spirit and impact that tennis brings to the local level.

The 2009 Best Tennis Town winner will be determined by a nationwide online vote at beginning today and continuing until July 26, 2009 at 11:59 ET.  The top three finalists will travel to New York City where the winner will be revealed during a ceremony at the 2009 US Open. The winner will take home the 2009 “Best Tennis Town” title, an accompanying trophy and $100,000 to be used for community-wide tennis programming or facility enhancements.

The search for America’s “Best Tennis Town” is the USTA’s first-ever nationwide search to identify the local area—from small, rural towns to large, urban metro areas and everywhere in between—that  best exhibits the qualities of a great tennis community.

“The USTA is dedicated to making tennis accessible and fun for everyone in America,” said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA. “The “Best Tennis Town” initiative was created as a tribute to those communities that have shown tremendous commitment to the sport of tennis, consequently enabling the sport to grow at an unprecedented rate at all levels of play, over the past decade.”

Tennis towns from all over the country submitted their entries for consideration on between May 1 and July 1, 2009, and after carefully reviewing each submission, a panel of judges selected the following ten communities as the 2009 “Best Tennis Town” Finalists:

Grand Junction, COBaton Rouge, LA
Tempe, AZOjai, CA
Cary, NCIndependence, KS
Las Vegas, NVHickory, NC
Midland, MISpringfield, MO

Each of the ten finalist towns are profiled on, including each community’s video submission displaying community spirit and passion for tennis, as well as the impact of tennis on an individual, an organization and/or the community as a whole.

The 2nd and 3rd prize winners will receive $50,000 and $25,000, respectively, to be used for community-wide tennis programming and/or facility enhancements. The seven communities receiving honorable mentions will each receive a $2,000 tennis equipment package.

For more information on The Best Tennis Town and to cast your vote, please visit