New York to host blockbuster tennis night
Originally published on: 14/02/12 11:51
Fancy New York but never quite had a reason to justify the trip? Maybe a blockbuster night of tennis will seal the deal.
Ahead of this year’s Indian Wells tournament, the BNP Paribas Showdown returns on March 5 and will see Madison Square Garden transformed to host two blockbuster encounters – Roger Federer versus Andy Roddick, and Maria Sharapova against Caroline Wozniacki.
Usually a music venue, the multi-purpose Madison Square Garden arena, which hosted the ATP year-end championships between 1977-1989 and the WTA year end tournament between 1979 and 2000, will host two best-of-three sets encounters.
It’s not the first time Federer has played at the Manhattan venue, having faced off with seven-time Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras during an exhibition in March 2008, but the event will be an entirely new experience for the other three players.
“Playing in Madison Square Garden has always been a dream of mine,” said three-time Grand Slam champion Sharapova. “Everyone wants to play there at least once in their career. I look forward to coming back to New York for the Showdown.”
“I have never had a chance to play at the Garden before and to play Roger there will make it a special night,” added Roddick. “I am really looking forward to a great event.”
Roddick has won just two of 22 meetings with the Swiss, who beat him in three Wimbledon finals including their five set epic in 2009, when Federer finally broke serve to win 16-14 in the fifth set after four hours and 16 minutes.
As for the women, Australian Open finalist Sharapova holds the upper hand in five career meetings with Wozniacki, although both of her two losses to the Dane came on American hard courts – at the US Open in 2010 and Indian Wells the following year. Their bouts have never yet extended to three sets, but with both stepping up their bids for Grand Slam glory this year the showdown promises to be a cracker.
So what are you waiting for? Give that impromptu jaunt to New York a little more direction and head over to www.thegarden.com to bag tickets, starting at $50.00.