On Monday, October 10, 2016, Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King hosted the 24th annual all-star charity tennis match – World TeamTennis (WTT) Smash Hits at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Elton John and Billie Jean King
Elton John and Billie Jean King

The event was a great success, raising more than $600,000 to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF).

Prior to the match, Elton, Billie Jean, and all of the featured players attended a VIP donor reception and live auction that raised more than $150,000 of the evening’s totals. The players were active bidders in the auction, with Maria Sharapova winning a ticket package for the Broadway hit “Hamilton” and John McEnroe buying an autographed Elton John piano bench.

Billie Jean King and Maria Sharapova
Billie Jean King and Maria Sharapova

The tennis action took place on a multi-colored tennis court just steps away from where Elton John plays his hit show, “The Million Dollar Piano” at Caesars Palace. A capacity crowd watched Maria Sharapova’s highly-anticipated return to tennis as she opened the night pairing up with Andy Roddick for a set of celebrity doubles against Elton John and Martina Navratilova.

Sharapova and Roddick won 3-1 in an entertaining quick set.
Then, tennis stars Mardy Fish, Liezel Huber, Taylor Johnson, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Mark Philippoussis, Andy Roddick, and Maria Sharapova divided into two teams – Team Elton and Team Billie Jean – and treated the sold-out crowd to a modified World TeamTennis match, including one set each of men’s doubles, women’s doubles, men’s singles, women’s singles, and mixed doubles. Team Elton won the match 19-14, giving Team Elton a 13-11 edge in the all-time series.

“This highly successful event brings the 24-year cumulative total of dollars raised by Smash Hits to more than $15 million for EJAF’s grant-making initiatives supporting HIV/AIDS-related advocacy, prevention, stigma reduction, and direct treatment, care, and service programs across the United States, the Americas, and the Caribbean,” said EJAF Founder Sir Elton John.

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