The 20th anniversary edition of Mylan WTT Smash Hits presented by GEICO, was one for the record books with the event posting a record $1 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation with a portion of those proceeds benefitting the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force. The event, hosted annually by Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King, has now raised more the $11.5 million to support HIV and AIDS prevention and awareness programs since the first Smash Hits was held in Los Angeles in 1993.
Team Billie Jean King won the match, besting Team Elton John, 19-17.
Tuesday’s match at the Petersen Event Center on the University of Pittsburgh campus featured one of the first tennis appearances of Andy Roddick since announcing his retirement from the sport, and hall of famer Andre Agassi in men’s singles. Team Elton’s Roddick won the final set of men’s singles over Agassi, 5-3, to push the match into Overtime. Agassi captured the first game of Overtime to give Team Billie Jean the win and even the 20-year series at 10-10.
Sir Elton John kicked the evening off, partnering with Martina Navratilova to take a 3-2 victory against Agassi and Stefanie Graf in an entertaining celebrity doubles set.
Women’s singles brought two of the top junior players in the world and saw Team Elton’s Taylor Townsend post a 5-2 win over the 2012 US Open girls singles champion Samantha Crawford. In mixed doubles, Roddick paired with the legendary Martina Navratilova to lead Team Elton to a 5-3 win over Agassi and Graf.
In women’s doubles, Christina McHale teamed with Crawford and cruised to a 5-0 win over Navratilova and Townsend to bring Team Billie Jean even with Team Elton 10-10 after three sets. “I am so happy with my team tonight,” said King following the match. “Girls doubles really turned it around for us. The young ones got us back in the match.”
King’s squad increased their lead in men’s doubles as Mark Knowles joined Agassi to pick up a 5-2 win over Roddick and Jan-Michael Gambill.
Earlier in the evening, a silent and live auction raised more than $375,000 of the night’s total. The top auction item of the night went for $200,000 when two bidders paid $100,000 each for a package that included tickets to Sir Elton John’s “The Million Dollar Piano” show at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas and dinner with Elton and Billie Jean King. A hitting session with Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf in Las Vegas sold for $55,000. Other auction items were a 2013 Super Bowl Package with a dinner hosted by NFL legend Franco Harris, an Elton John-signed piano bench, a hitting session with Martina Navratilova, and Wimbledon and US Open packages.
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