It’s great to see this exciting Hit for Haiti exhibition come together for the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Pete Sampras and Roger Federer will play doubles against Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal, all former champions in the desert. That’s a whopping 44 Major titles on the court at one time. They also added a second match to the evening’s event that will feature four legendary female players. Martina Navratilova, Justine Henin, Steffi Graf, and Lindsay Davenport. Not to be outdone by the guys, the women represent an astounding 50 Major titles.
*UPDATE – tickets could potentially be sold out. Please call to find out.
The match will be held as part of the regular evening session on Friday, March 12. There are still tickets available as of post time – I called this morning and the “Loge” seats were $40 each. Click here for the BNP Paribas Open website or call 800.999.1585 for tickets.
For those of you who can’t make the trip out to the California desert, the event will be broadcast live on the Tennis Channel beginning at 7:30 PM PST. Please check our TV schedule.
According to the BNP Paribas Open website, the event is “expected to raise a minimum of $1 Million for Haiti relief efforts.” The money will come from net proceeds of ticket sales from this session, as well as on-site fan donations and text messages (presumably the television audience will be encouraged to contribute, too.) Tournament owner Larry Ellison a.k.a. the fourth richest man in the world will be making a personal donation, which helps explain the event’s impressive fundraising goal.
“When I saw the first Hit for Haiti event in Australia, I was very moved by the players coming together, on the eve of an important tournament, for such a worthy cause,” said Ellison. “I wanted to bring together an exceptional group of players, with an unprecedented amount of Grand Slam titles, at the BNP Paribas Open. Our goal is to leave a memorable impression on fans, while raising a substantial amount of money that will directly impact the needs of people in Haiti.”
Proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross Haiti Relief & Development Fund.
In 2005, Indian Wells hosted an all-star exhibition for tsunami relief, which included Agassi and Federer:
Seeing Maursemo, Henman, Safin and Agassi on the bench makes me nostalgic – at least Kim Clijsters is back on tour!