By Randy Walker
Novak Djokovic is not just regarded as one of the best tennis players in history but also as one of the most generous.
The Wimbledon champion and world No. 1 took time out of his preparations for the U.S. Open to join John McEnroe and a slew of celebrities at the tennis fundraiser for the non-profit Johnny Mac Tennis Project Thursday night at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy at Sportime at Randall’s Island.
The event was organized to raise funds and awareness for the Johnny Mac Tennis Project, a non-profit organization, which is making the sport of tennis accessible to New York City children who normally would not think to play the sport of cannot afford it.
“This is a noble cause” said Djokovic of the Johnny Mac Tennis Project Thursday. “I am happy to be here to help raise funds and raise more awareness for tennis in New York, the community and of course this tennis center.”
McEnroe spoke about Djokovic and tennis in the United States and in New York City in his short clip from his pre-match meeting with the press here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1I8ZE0ZLqE&list=UU2aqyL0GhjV7dtaKW2SW-2A
Djokovic and McEnroe were joined by New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist and Academy Award-nominated actor Ed Norton, along with Wimbledon semifinalist Lucie Safarova and John McEnroe Tennis Academy students Noah Rubin, the reigning Wimbledon junior champion, and Jamie Loeb, the top-ranked women’s college player last year at the University of North Carolina. Other bold faced names in the sell-out crowd of 1,500 included actor Danny DeVito, TV commentator Sean Hannity, former NYC Mayor David Dinkins and Boris Becker, the three-time Wimbledon champion and also Djokovic’s coach.
The evening began as Safarova beat Loeb 6-3, following by Djokovic beating Rubin 8-5. McEnroe and Lundqvist then teamed to beat Norton and Djokovic 4-3, decided by a sudden-death point tiebreaker at 9-points all by chair umpire and media personality Mike Lupica.
The Johnny Mac Tennis Project, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) public charity whose purpose is to expose young athletes in the greater New York metropolitan area to the life-changing sport of tennis without regard to their economic circumstance. To this end, JMTP raises public and private funds in order to provide tennis academy scholarships and financial assistance to New York City Metropolitan area children. JMTP promotes the lifelong sport of tennis to and for players of all levels, from introductory programs that reach out to schools and neighborhoods in surrounding communities, to world-class tournament training for aspiring professionals. For NYC juniors striving to achieve at the highest levels of the game, JMTP funds the costs associated with travel to regional, national and international tournaments and provides on-site coaching.
To read more about McEnroe’s commitment to tennis in the United States and New York, click here: http://www.tennishotspots.com/john-mcenroe-walks-the-walk-with-tennis-academy-johnny-mac-tennis-project/