Bahamas Charity Hit
Published December 09, 2010 12:00
NASSAU, Bahamas - The 10th annual Mark Knowles Celebrity Tennis Invitational proved to be a hit last weekend, with men's world No.4 Andy Murray joining WTA stars Sabine Lisicki, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Olga Savchuk for a charity push in a paradise setting.
Following a pro-am with sponsors on Friday, a pro-celebrity exhibition competition was played on Saturday, along similar lines to the format used in World TeamTennis.
Team Bahamas consisted of Knowles, Murray, Groenefeld, Lisicki, Ryan Sweeting, Jesse Levine and Alex Kuznetsov. Team Paradise Island was represented by Xavier Malisse, Oliver Marach, Bobby Reynolds, Mattek-Sands, Savchuk, Don Johnson, Amer Delic and Brent Haygarth.
Murray, who arrived in the Bahamas the morning of his appearance, had a rough start to his hectic Saturday: he was awakened for a surprise drug test at six in the morning back in the United Kingdom. Even so, in his singles he beat Malisse, 5-4.
"It is amazing to have Andy at the event," said a grateful Knowles. "It makes such an impact on the kids and we have some talented juniors here in the Bahamas. They will remember this day for quite some time."
"I know Mark's put a huge amount of work into this event over the years," said Murray, "so I'm just pleased that I can help out."
In the end Team Paradise Island won the day, edging Team Bahamas 16 games to 13. The event raised roughly $150,000 for charity, helped by an auction of racquets from Roger Federer, Lleyton Hewitt and Knowles, and two tickets to next year's Wimbledon finals.
Over the past decade, more than $700,000 has now been raised by Knowles and his supporters.
See photos from the Mark Knowles Celebrity Tennis Invitational!