ORLANDO, Fla. (Nov. 17, 2013) – Mylan WTT Smash Hits presented by GEICO returned to the Orlando area for the first time since 1997 on Sunday evening, raising more than $700,000 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and local charities.
Team Elton defeated Team Billie Jean 24-18 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort to take an 11-10 lead in the overall series. Andy Roddick, who was making his 11th event appearance, won three sets including men’s singles over John Isner to help Team Elton seal the victory.
“He’s phenomenal,” John said of Roddick. “We miss him on the tour because he’s such a personality. He’s doing so well. He came out and did it tonight.”
A portion of tonight’s proceeds will go towards the Hope and Help Center of Central Florida. The annual event, co-hosted by Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King, has now raised more the $12 million to support HIV and AIDS prevention and awareness programs since the first event in 1993. Robert and Tricia Earl served as local hosts of tonight’s Mylan WTT Smash Hits.
The evening began with a celebrity Battle of the Sexes set, pitting Elton John and Roddick against Venus Williams and Marion Bartoli. John and Roddick won the entertaining set 4-3.
The celebrity set didn’t count towards the overall match score, but it got Team Elton off on the winning track. Roddick partnered teammate Robert Kendrick to a 5-4 win against Team Billie Jean’s Isner and Jean-Julien Rojer to kick off the match.
Team Elton moved ahead 10-6 when Williams and Vicky Duval joined forces in women’s doubles for a 5-2 victory over Bartoli and Taylor Townsend. In women’s singles, Townsend won the showdown of top young Americans as she held off Duval for a 5-4 win, clinching the set on a deciding point with a net cord.
Team Elton built on their lead in the 4th set with a 5-3 win in mixed doubles as Roddick teamed with Duval to get past Townsend and Isner. Roddick then closed out the night by topping Isner 5-4 in men’s singles.
Before King and John’s teams battled it out on court, they went head-to-head in a live auction contest, raising $212,000. John’s squad took home honors by bringing in $126,000 of contributions. Roddick stole the show when he took the microphone to auction off a private lesson, selling two sessions for $36,000 apiece. Billie Jean King’s Wimbledon package, featuring her own Centre Court seats to the 2014 ladies’ and gentlemen’s championship matches, sold for $25,000. Bartoli, the reigning Wimbledon ladies’ champion, subsequently offered up her personal tickets and the $25,000 was matched. Other auction items included an Elton John-signed piano bench, a hitting session with Bartoli, a Daytona 500 experience, tournament packages for the US Open and Indian Wells, and a Forevermark pendant and earrings.
Official sponsors include Mylan, GEICO, 1059 SUNNY FM, Adecco, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Alston & Bird LLP, ANZ, Bright House Media Strategies, Central Florida Press, Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP, Credit Suisse, DecoTurf, Fields Auto Group, Forevermark Diamond, Goldman Sachs, Kelley De & Warren LLP, Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP, Macy’s, McGuireWoods LLP, Orlando Magazine, Planet Hollywood Foundation, Presidio, Rakoczy Molino Mazzochi Siwik LLP, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Smart City, Wells Fargo Foundation, Wiley Rein LLP, Wilson, Wipro and Zebra Coalition.