"Tennis and Jazz in Times Square" Features Top Touring Pros and Jazz Great David Sanborn
Times Square Celebration Includes Free Tennis Exhibitions and Jazz Concert
FOREST HILLS, NY--Apr 18, 2005 -- In connection with the Forest Hills Clay Court Classic, a USTA Pro Circuit Event scheduled for May 7-14, 2005, The West Side Tennis Club will host an afternoon of tennis and jazz on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 in the heart of Times Square. A concert by jazz great David Sanborn and exhibition tennis with top touring pros will be open to the public from 1-5 PM in the Times Square Studios at Broadway and West 44th Street.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate two great New York City and Queens legacies -- world-class tennis and America's musical birthright, jazz," said The West Side Tennis Club president Jack Leibler. The legendary West Side Tennis Club, home of the US Open for more than 50 years, will host two men's USTA Pro Circuit events -- The Forest Hills Clay Court Classic and the Forest Hills Grass Court Classic. Each event will also feature a jazz concert at the Forest Hills club, where the stadium court has played host to both the world's greatest tennis players and musicians, including the Beatles.
Top pros competing in the $50,000 Forest Hills Clay Court Tennis Classic will play exhibition tennis on a specially constructed court in the street level, open-air studio at Broadway and 44th Streets, and spectators will be invited on court to try their hand at the sport. "This event represents everything we try to achieve on the USTA Pro Circuit. By offering spectacular world-class tennis throughout the country, we hope to inspire people to take up the game and enjoy the terrific health and social benefits the game has to offer," said Brian Earley, Director, USTA Pro Circuit.
Added to the mix will be a concert by jazz great David Sanborn on a stage also set up in the Times Square Studios. "It's great to have this opportunity to play in Times Square alongside these world class tennis players," said Sanborn, who calls New York City home. "We share a lot in common -- the physicality of our performances, the ability to improvise and the need to be mentally focused." Sanborn, who was stricken with polio at age three and spent a year in an iron lung, was advised by doctors to take up a wind instrument when he was 11 to combat his diminished lung capacity. Today, the world-renowned saxophonist includes a physical fitness regimen as part of his performance preparation.
The Forest Hills Clay Court Classic, from May 7-14 (immediately preceding the qualifying for the French Open) and The Forest Hills Grass Court Classic, from June 26-July 3, are part of the USTA Pro Circuit and serve as Grand Slam tune-ups for the tour's most promising players. The USTA funds the 96 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S, awarding nearly $3 million in prize money.
During tournament week admission to the matches at The West Side Tennis Club is free and 2005 Tennis and Jazz in Times Square Release open to the public through Friday, May 13. Admission to finals on Saturday, May 14 is $10 per person. Tickets are available at the gate. Other activity during the Forest Hills Clay Court Classic tournament week includes youth tennis clinics, a wheelchair tennis exhibition and a jazz concert on Friday evening, May 13.
Jacob & Co. Jewelry Store, CD101.9 Panasonic and The Verve Music Group are event sponsors along with the USTA and The West Side Tennis Club. Additional sponsors include American Airlines, Loriet Tennis Apparel, New Sun Health Drink, Tennisweek.com, Queens Ledger Newspapers, Marriott Fairway Villas at Seaview and Orange V Vodka. Event logistics are being managed by TMK Sports & Entertainment, LLC.
The West Side Tennis Club, former site of the US Open, is currently home to over 800 members, maintaining 39 courts on four different surfaces at its 14-acre facility in Queens. With the addition of an indoor court facility last winter that is open to the public as well its active instructional program for adults and juniors, its historic clubhouse and its easy access from midtown Manhattan, The West Side Tennis Club is the premier tennis facility in New York City. To learn more about The West Side Tennis Club log on to http://www.foresthillstennis.com
The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. It owns and operates the US Open, the largest annually attended sporting event in the world and, in 2004, launched the US Open Series which links 11 summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns the 96 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S., and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. A not-for-profit organization with more than 665,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds to promote and develop the growth of tennis, from the grassroots to the professional levels. For more information on the USTA, log on to http://www.usta.com
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