Hit for Haiti, by James Handel

HIT FOR HAITI, presented by Oracle
was a great way to end the BNP PARIBAS OPEN on Friday, March 12, 2010. Starting
at 7 p.m., there was a special pre-match ceremony featuring performances by the
Palm Springs marching band honoring veterans, military personnel, fireman, and
police officers. U.S. Marines from 29 Palms Marine Corps Base carried a huge
American flag onto the court where it was displayed across the entire tennis
court. Grammy Award winning singer Tony Bennett sang for the crowd. It was a
great night, unprecedented because it was the first sold out event in the
history of the Indian Wells Tennis Stadium.
The night featured two entertaining
exhibitions. The women’s match had great play by current player, Justine Henin
and great legends, Martina Navratilova, Stephanie Graf and Lindsay Davenport.
Together, the women’s doubles teams represented fifty Grand Slam titles. During
the women’s match, Navratilova spoke frequently. Navratilova and Henin won in an
8 game pro set with a score of 8-6.
 The men’s doubles teams featured Roger Federer
and Pete Sampras vs. Rafael Nadal and Andre Agassi. The men’s doubles teams
represented forty-four Grand Slam titles. The men’s match was very entertaining
with Andre Agassi engaging the crowd with fun comments. There was a little
tension in the match when Sampras imitated the way Agassi walks and then Agassi
suggested that Sampras is cheap and does not leave good tips. Federer and
Sampras won 8 to 6.
Thanks to the efforts of these eight
great tennis players, BNP PARIBAS OPEN owner, Larry Ellison, presented the
Riverside County American Red Cross with a $1 million check for the Haiti Relief
Efforts. 

  Previous article by James Handal, ball boy: http://seniortennis.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!874825C0F2D05AF4!2161.trak

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