Pittsburgh to host World TeamTennis charity event |
Other Local

Pittsburgh to host World TeamTennis charity event

Pittsburgh may not be known as a tennis destination, but it will become one for a night Oct. 16 when Mylan World TeamTennis Smash Hits comes to the city.

The annual charity event, held at Petersen Events Center, is a night of celebrity tennis matches designed to raise money in support of the fight against HIV and AIDS. Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf and Andy Roddick have signed on for this year’s event.

“It’s another opportunity for us to showcase our great city, specifically around a sports event,” Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said at a news conference Monday. “This is clearly a sports town, and to have the 20th anniversary here in Pittsburgh is wonderful.”

Pittsburgh served as home to one of World TeamTennis’ first Pro League teams, the Pittsburgh Triangles, for three years, beginning in 1974.

“You’re going to see the very best players in the world coming to Pittsburgh,” World TeamTennis CEO Ilana Kloss said.

Hosts Elton John and Billie Jean King, longtime friends, will captain two teams that will play five sets — one set each of men’s and women’s singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. The singer will participate in a celebrity doubles match at the start of the night.

“I always joke with him and say it’s a good thing he’s got a music career,” Kloss said.

The event will raise money for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force. Since 1993, Smash Hits has raised more than $10.5 million in support of AIDS research.

“As you think about places like sub-Saharan Africa and rural villages in developing countries, not to mention the needs here locally and domestically, there could not be a better cause to be fighting for and raising awareness to,” Mylan CEO Heather Bresch said.

Because of World TeamTennis’ unique format (no-advantage, first team to four points), the sport is easier to follow for people who aren’t regular tennis fans.

Kloss said the event is a good way to test the tennis market.

“If it’s successful, we potentially could have a World TeamTennis team back in the market again,” she said.

Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. July 16. Seven thousand tickets will be available for the event, and are priced between $40 and $125. VIP ticket packages, which offer courtside seating and admission to a VIP Reception and Auction, will be available for $500. For tickets, interested parties can visit or, or call 412-924-8270.

Meredith Qualls is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at [email protected] or 412-380-5637.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.