Tennis star Maria Sharapova is expected to reveal plans today to launch “Maria Sharapova & Friends, presented by Porsche,” a new tennis event in Los Angeles. It will take place at the UCLA Tennis Center Dec. 12-13 and will feature Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam champion, Andy Roddick, former world number one tennis champion, along with world number four and 2014 U.S. Open finalist Kei Nishikori, American rising stars Madison Keys and Jack Sock, Britain’s Laura Robson and Grand Slam champion Michael Chang.
Model Karlie Kloss and comedienne Chelsea Handler will also participate in the two-day event. Additional tennis and entertainment talent will be added to the roster in the next few weeks.
“It’s been a long-term goal of mine to host my own tennis event and bring professional tennis back to Los Angeles,” said the 28-year-old Russian-born Sharapova. “I hope the fans enjoy the highly competitive tennis, great comedy and entertainment, and walk away having had a great weekend.”
The event will showcase men’s, women’s and legend’s singles, mixed doubles and celebrity doubles matches during the day on Saturday, Dec. 12 and Sunday, Dec. 13, along with a comedy night on Saturday night.
Porsche, Sharapova’s longtime partner, has signed on as presenting sponsor for the event. Tag Heuer will be the event’s official timekeeper and official watch, and will host the “Don’t Crack Under Pressure” skills competition between players, celebrities, media and fans. Nike is the event’s official clothing sponsor. Tennis Channel is the event’s host broadcaster. A portion of the event’s proceeds will benefit the Maria Sharapova Foundation, which raises money for underprivileged children around the world. VIP tickets and packages are being sold via mariasharapova.com.