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Top players headline BNP Paribas Showdown

New York, NY — The top women in the world of tennis, including current World No. 1 player Serena Williams, seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams, 2009 US Open champion Kim Clijsters and 2009 French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, will face off in the one-night, single elimination $1.2 million “BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup” at Madison Square Garden on Monday, March 1, 2010.

Limited VIP tickets and additional tickets for $250.00, $125.00, $75.00, $50.00 and $25.00 went on sale TODAY and can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden box office, all Ticketmaster outlets and online at thegarden.com.

“At Madison Square Garden we strive to bring the biggest and best in sports and entertainment under our roof,” said Joel Fisher, executive vice president, MSG Sports. “We are thrilled that these women’s tennis champions will be plying their trade at the second annual BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup, and that our fans will get to witness a great, great night of tennis at The Garden.”

“We are looking forward to an exciting night of tennis with some potential interesting matchups including a rematch of the US Open semifinals between Serena and Kim,” said StarGames president Jerry Solomon, referring to the match’s controversial ending. “With the return of great sponsors like BNP Paribas and the growth of our Tennis Night in America partnership with the USTA, the BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup is emerging as a night that brings tennis fans around the country together to celebrate the sport. It is certainly a night that tennis fans should have on their annual calendar.”

The “BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup” is the featured element of the national “Tennis Night in America” promotion. Through “Tennis Night in America”, the USTA will continue its efforts to grow youth participation in the sport of tennis. “Tennis Night in America” is among the sports largest ever grass roots initiatives.

The USTA has made this event a major component for its Youth Registration Night, where youth from all over the country can begin signing up for spring and summer league play.

The caliber of players for the event is unparalleled, boasting three of 2009’s Grand Slam tournament winners, including defending champion Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters, who stunned the tennis world with her Cinderella-like U.S. Open victory only two years after retiring from the sport. The grouping also consists of 2009 French Open Champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and seven-time Grand Slam Singles Champion, Venus Williams.

Serena Williams, the current top-ranked women’s player, captured two Grand Slam events this past year winning her 10th and 11th singles titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. She holds an astounding total of 52 titles (35 singles / 17 doubles) at Tour events. Serena, 28, defeated her sister, Venus, in this past summer’s Wimbledon singles’ finals, and the pair teamed up to once again win the doubles tournament.

Venus Williams, a 29-year-old former World No. 1, is currently ranked No. 6 and won the 2008 Wimbledon and Tour Championship titles. The Williams sisters paired up for patriotic pride to capture their second consecutive Olympic gold medals in women’s doubles.

Rounding out the field is defending French Open Champion, Svetlana Kuznetsova. The Russian-born player is currently ranked No. 3 in the world and her Grand Slam title was her first since winning the US Open five years ago.

In this fast-paced no ad scoring format, each participant will compete in a one-set semi-final with the winners advancing to a best of three-set final for the Billie Jean King Cup.

Depending on the draw, which will be announced at a later date, a potential rematch of the 2009 US Open semifinal (Serena Williams vs. Kim Clijsters), Wimbledon finals (Williams vs. Williams) and French Open semifinal (Serena vs. Kuznetsova) could take place.

The “BNP Paribus Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup” is produced by StarGames in association with Madison Square Garden.

About MSG Sports Properties

MSG Sports Properties, which includes world championship boxing, college basketball, tennis, track & field, and all other sports events is part of Madison Square Garden, L.P. which is owned by Cablevision Systems Corporation and includes the New York Knicks (NBA); the New York Rangers (NHL); the New York Liberty (WNBA); the Hartford Wolf Pack (American Hockey League); MSG Entertainment, which includes concerts and events at Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, The WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden, the Beacon Theatre, the legendary Chicago Theatre, as well as an exclusive co-booking agreement with the venerable Wang Theatre in Boston; and which manages wholly-owned live entertainment properties including the Radio City Rockettes and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular; MSG Media, which is comprised of television networks MSG and MSG Plus, and MSG Interactive which oversees all company wireless and online initiatives; Fuse, the only national music television network; and the Madison Square Garden arena complex, located in the heart of the New York metropolitan area.

StarGames, LLC (stargamesinc.com), which, in partnership with tennis great Ivan Lendl, promoted the Sampras/Federer match in March of 2008 at the Garden, is a full service sports marketing and production company based outside of Boston, MA. Now in its 14th year, StarGames produces programming for television, broadband and DVD home distribution, and, in association with Champagne Tennis Etcetera, procures sponsors for major sports and entertainment events. In addition, StarGames creates and produces live sporting/entertainment events, represents professional athletes and operates its own broadband channels through affiliations with YouTube and TVUNetworks.

 

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