Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC), the world-class tennis training center in College Park, MD, today announced that Francis Tiafoe will play an exhibition match against Reilly Opelka at the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden in New York City on March 3.
The exhibition will kick off the BNP Paribas Showdown featuring a headline match between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray and a battle of the brothers with current world #1 doubles champions Bob and Mike Bryan facing John and Patrick McEnroe.
Tiafoe, who is currently ranked #7 junior in the world, is fresh off his victory at the 2013 Orange Bowl. He won the International Boys’ 18 and under Championship at age 15, becoming the youngest winner ever in the international contest’s 67-year history. Past winners include Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Andy Roddick, and Roger Federer.
“Inviting junior players to be part of the BNP Paribas Showdown has always been important to us,” said Jerry Solomon, President & CEO of StarGames, Inc. “Francis had a great run at the Orange Bowl last year. We look forward to him playing in the Showdown and think he will enjoy the experience of playing in Madison Square Garden.”
“Francis continues to make history with tennis legends of today and yesterday. Playing the opening exhibition ahead of Djokovic, Murray, the Bryan brothers and the McEnroe brothers is a great opportunity for him to play on the big stage,” said Ray Benton, CEO of JTCC. “I can think of no better way to celebrate World Tennis Day than to celebrate yesterday’s, today’s and tomorrow’s great champions.”
The BNP Paribas Showdown is part of the second annual World Tennis Day, a global celebration of tennis that includes BNP Paribas Showdown events in Hong Kong and New York City as well as the World Tennis Day Showdown in London. In addition, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and its member nations will host participation events such as clinics and open houses at clubs around the world.
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World Tennis Day was founded in 2013 as a joint effort between StarGames Inc. and the International Tennis Federation (ITF). Designed to promote playing opportunities around the world, the ITF uses the occasion to engage its member nations to host events to expose more people to tennis. In its first year, 58 countries hosted such events. In addition, StarGames produces Showdown events with current and former professional players to further celebrate the sport. In 2014, New York City will hosts its seventh Showdown, Hong Kong will have its second while London will play host to a Showdown event for the first time. Every Showdown participant has either been ranked as No. 1 in the World or reached a Grand Slam final in their career, if not both. More information can be found at www.WorldTennisDay.com.