Colonial Life Arena will feature mix of tennis, music in December
By STEVE WISEMAN - firstname.lastname@example.org
Two of the world’s biggest tennis stars, Andy Roddick and Serena Williams, will headline a unique sports and music event Dec. 13 in Columbia, South Carolina. Rock-n-Racquets, a tennis exhibition combining top-flight tennis with music, will make its first stop in South Carolina at the Colonial Life Arena.
Roddick, ranked as the world’s No. 6 male tennis player, started the event in 2002 as a way to combine his love of tennis and music. Proceeds benefit the Andy Roddick Foundation.Williams took part in Rock-n-Racquets in Omaha, Neb., last year and said Thursday she is excited about playing in South Carolina this winter.
“It’s a real successful event and I was excited with how it went,” Williams said in a telephone interview. “Once I did it last year, I knew that I wanted to do it again. I also like the fact that we were going to different cities. There are fans all around. It’s good to go show your support for people that have supported you.” The event will feature Roddick taking on 6-foot-9 John Isner in a singles exhibition match. Williams, the defending U.S. Open champion with nine Grand Slam titles on her resume, will play Caroline Wozniacki, ranked No. 12 in the world.
“She’s up and coming,” Williams said. “She’s doing well. She had a breakout year this year. Next year she will be even better. It will be good to play against her and get a feel for her game.” A mixed doubles exhibition, featuring Roddick and Williams against Isner and Wozniacki, also will be played.
Since the first Rock-N-Racquets in Miami in 2002, the event’s mix of tennis and a DJ sound show has made tour stops in places such as Omaha, Little Rock, Ark.; Mobile, Ala.; Boise, Idaho and Wichita, Kan. Even though the event is being held at the basketball arena that houses the University of South Carolina’s basketball teams, Newberry College is the primary sponsor for the Rock-n-Racquets S.C. stop.
“Thanks to Newberry College,” Roddick said in a press release, “it is especially exciting for me to bring the event to South Carolina where the tennis community and participation throughout the state are so strong.”
Tickets go on sale Oct. 24 at 10 a.m. at the Colonial Life Arena box office, online at coloniallifearena.com or by phone at (866) 472-8499. Most admission costs range from $17 to $87, but there are also $12 seats for students 12 and under. Military, senior citizen and group discounts are also available.Reach Wiseman at (803) 771-8472.
(I HAVE NEVER SEEN SERENA LIVE IN ACTION AND I PLAN TO ATTEND THIS ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME EVENT. I WOULD LOVE TO MEET HER. CAN ANYONE MAKE IT HAPPEN?)