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Tennis Legends, Capturing 170 Grand Slam Titles Attend 'Legends Ball' to Benefit the International Tennis Hall of Fame on September 5 at Cipriani in New York City

NEW YORK, NY - More than one dozen tennis Hall of Famers with a combined 170 Grand Slam titles (singles/doubles/mixed), legendary newswoman Barbara Walters and more than 600 tennis aficionados were on-hand to honor Billie Jean King, Sony Ericsson and the Hall of Fame Class of 2008 - Michael Chang, Eugene L. Scott and Mark McCormack - at the 28th annual “Legends Ball” to benefit the International Tennis Hall of Fame on September 5 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.

Lead by Martina Navratilova’s 59 Grand Slam titles, the Hall of Fame guest list also included Ms. King (39), Pam Shriver (22), Vic Seixas (15), Tony Trabert (10), Stan Smith (7), Virginia Wade (7), Jim Courier (4), Guillermo Vilas (4), Richard “Dick” Savitt (2), and Michael Chang (1).

The Legends Ball, emceed by ESPN’s Cliff Drysdale and held annually since 1980, brings the tennis world together to celebrate the history of the game and honor some of the sport’s great contributors all while raising money for the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. EMI/ERG recording artist Wendy Moten performed for the crowd which included; the event’s Player Co-Chairs Jim Courier, Monica Seles and Owen Davidson plus Co-Chairs, Phil de Picciotto, President of Octagon Athletes & Personalities, Alexander M. Seaver, Managing Director of Stadium Capital Management LLC and his wife Christine, and Peter Palandjian, Chairman and CEO of Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation and a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame Board of Directors and his wife Minou.

In addition to honoring the “Class of 2008” the event also featured Ms. Walters presenting the third annual Eugene L. Scott Award to Billie Jean King. Previous honorees have included Andre Agassi (2007) and John McEnroe (2006). Sony Ericsson was recognized for their ongoing contribution to tennis with the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award. Last year, Rolex was recognized with the Cullman Award and in 2006, the French company BNP Paribas received the inaugural award.

Guests also had the opportunity to bid upon once-in-a-lifetime experiences and unique items in a silent and live auction with all proceeds benefiting the International Tennis Hall of Fame. More than $170,000 was raised from the 50 items. Highlights included a hit session with Andre Agassi ($16,000); a 2009 Wimbledon get-away ($14,000); a trip to South Africa ($13,000) a VIP package for the 2009 U.S. Open ($10,000) and golf packages to Winged Foot Golf Club, the Stanwich Club, Plainfield Country Club and Trump National.
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The mission of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, based in Newport, RI, is to preserve the history of tennis, inspire and encourage junior tennis development, enshrine tennis heroes and heroines and provide a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide. For more information about the Legends Ball or the International Tennis Hall of Fame call 212-843-1740 or e-mail legendsball@hgnyc.com.

 

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