Some news from the event tonight in houston... there are pics around but I can't find any of Andy
Edit: aha I found a pic
Lighthearted action brings relief in serious cause
Over $500,000 raised as 8,193 see tennis event
By DALE ROBERTSON
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle
If the purpose couldn't have been more serious, the action was decidedly less so. Goose-and-giggle tennis is what they played at the Toyota Center on Monday night.
But Andy Roddick got himself a victory, which he needed even if it came with a whole lot of silliness attached, and so did Houston, which came through in typically generous fashion on behalf of the Bush-Clinton Fund for Tsunami Relief.
"Give yourselves a hand," announcer Wayne Bryan told the crowd. "You people are unbelievable."
Coming off a disappointing semifinal loss to Lleyton Hewitt in the Australian Open, then having to battle gridlock to get to the arena, Roddick put on a happy face nonetheless and defeated Tommy Haas 7-6 (6) in the evening's feature. The German Haas had, of course, beaten him at Westside Tennis Club last April in the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships final. (Good to know he still can win tiebreaks against good players.... IN EXHIBITIONS )
The official turnstile count for the Serving for Tsunami Relief exhibition was 8,193 and, although there appeared to be a significant number of no-shows on a cold, wet night, the event proved a rousing financial success on behalf of the millions of people affected by the giant tidal wave that devastated vast coastal regions of Asia and Africa the last week of December.
One "fan" who insisted upon annonymity paid $250,000 for his 50 seats. Even Super Bowl tickets a year ago weren't selling for five grand apiece.
The total take, including on-site donations, was $518,952, presented in the form of a giant check to the city's first sports fan, former President George H.W. Bush. Some $2,944 was collected by students at the KIPP Academy, a local charter school.
The United States Tennis Association sent an additional $25,000.
The players, for their part, accepted no compensation for participating, and the NBA Rockets provided the arena rent-free, save for the cost of staffing. It was the first time tennis had been played in the downtown venue, which opened in the fall of 2003. The upper deck was curtained off, the same as for Aeros hockey games.
"Everything's going very smoothly except for the fact that I just lost to a guy who has more gray hair than my father," a jet-lagged Jim Courier, whose production company staged the event, said after losing 6-4 to McEnroe, 12 years his senior, in the opening Champions singles match.
In the celebrity mixed doubles, TV shrink and best-selling author Dr. Phil (McGraw) teamed with Anna Kournikova to defeat former University of Houston and NBA legend Clyde Drexler and his partner, Chris Evert 6-4. Admonished for losing to a psychologist by announcer Wayne Bryan, Drexler had a response.
"The ball I played with," Hall-of-Famer Drexler pointed out, "was a little bigger."
Dr. Phil, however, happens to be a pretty solid player. He had also umpired the McEnroe match — without incident.
McEnroe and Kournikova paired up to defeat Roddick and Evert 4-2 in the abbreviated concluding match.
Tennis stars help raise more than $500,000
HOUSTON - Andy Roddick, Tommy Haas, John McEnroe, Chris Evert and Jim Courier played a little fun tennis for a big cause Monday night, helping to raise more than $518,000 for tsunami relief.
Roddick, who lost to Lleyton Hewitt in the semifinals of the Australian Open, defeated Haas 7-6 (6) in the feature match of the event for the Bush-Clinton Fund for Tsunami Relief.
Courier, whose production company put on the event, lost 6-4 to McEnroe in the opening match.
"Everything's going very smoothly except for the fact that I just lost to a guy who has more gray hair than my father," Courier said about the loss to 45-year-old McEnroe, 12 years his senior.
The Houston Chronicle reported in its Tuesday editions that one person who insisted on anonymity paid $250,000 for 50 seats at the benefit at the Toyota Center and the United States Tennis Association contributed $25,000. Former President Bush accepted a giant check for $518,952.
Evert praised the current players who participated in the event.
"They flew all the way in from Australia for this," she said. "In my day, we never played charity events (during the season). To see Andy fly over after a very disappointing loss - I'm sure he's not very happy right now - that's really impressive."
"Andy Roddick gets it, and Jim Courier gets it," McEnroe said. "Tennis needs events like this, innovations, new ways to reach out to the fans. It's for a great cause, obviously, and it's also very good for the game. Jim has credibility because he has won (three Grand Slams).
"He's still young enough that the current players know him, but he's been around long enough for the older guys like myself to remember him beating up on me at the end of my career. It's a good combination, making it easy for him to reach a lot of people."
The event was to help relief efforts in south Asia where the tsunami, triggered by a massive earthquake on Dec. 26, claimed more than 178,000 lives in 11 countries.