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Serena-Wozniacki and Wawrinka-Monfils to Headline 9th Annual BNP Paribas Showdown at MSG

Twenty-one-time Grand Slam Champion Serena Williams will take on close friend and former world number one Caroline Wozniacki, while Stan Wawrinka will square off with French star Gael Monfils at the 9th Annual BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, March 8.

Twenty-one-time Grand Slam Champion Serena Williams will take on close friend and former world number one Caroline Wozniacki, while Stan Wawrinka will square off with French star Gael Monfils at the 9th Annual BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, March 8. The entertaining one- night tennis event, which is being held on World Tennis Day for the fourth straight year has become a staple on the tennis calendar.

"I have been fortunate to play in World Tennis Day events in New York and Hong Kong,” said Wozniacki. “It is a great day to celebrate our sport. This year will be even more special as I return to Madison Square Garden with Serena. It doesn't get much better than that."

The ninth edition of the BNP Paribas Showdown, which consistently attracts the biggest names in tennis, will follow the likes of Pete Sampras, Rafael Nadal, Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Ivan Lendl, Juan Martin del Potro, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Mike and Bob Bryan, John and Patrick McEnroe, Grigor Dimitrov, Serena and Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, Kim Clijsters, Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Wozniacki, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Ana Ivanovic, Monica Seles, Gabriela Sabatini and Jelena Jankovic, all of whom took part in previous Showdowns and provided unforgettable memories for New York tennis fans.

"I have always loved playing for the New York crowd which inspires me very much,” said Monfils. “So coming back to New York with Stan on World Tennis Day will be a great opportunity to play for the fans. We will put on a great show for them."

As in years past, the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden will once again headline a full day of worldwide activities as part of World Tennis Day, a global tennis participation effort. All events promote tailoring the game to players 10-and-under with smaller racquets, lighter balls and modified scoring.

"I am excited that once again the BNP Paribas Showdown will offer fans great tennis and entertaining matchups,” said StarGames President Jerry Solomon. “Moreover, I think Serena has really become the 'people's champion' and we have priced tickets to encourage her fans to be in attendance at Madison Square Garden as we honor her on World Tennis Day. It promises to be another night full of memorable moments that you won't want to miss."

Serena, who will make her third appearance in the annual BNP Paribas Showdown, is currently ranked number one in the world, a ranking she has held on six separate occasions dating back to July 8, 2002. She has a total of 21 Grand Slam singles titles, third-most of any tennis player, male or female of all-time. Serena holds the most major singles, doubles and mixed-doubles titles combined amongst active players and her record of 36 major titles puts her fifth on the all-time list. Additionally, Serena has won four Olympic gold medals, one in women's singles and three in women's doubles. She captured the inaugural “BNP Paribas Showdown” held on March 2, 2009 at Madison Square Garden with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over sister Venus Williams.

Wozniacki is a former world number one, who is currently ranked 11th in the world and will be making her second appearance at Madison Square Garden in the Showdown. She made her professional debut at 15-years-old in 2005 and has since won 23 WTA singles titles. In 2008, she was named WTA Newcomer of the Year award. She took on Maria Sharapova in her MSG debut in 2012.

Wawrinka is currently ranked fourth in the world, has won two Grand Slam titles, including the 2014 Australian Open and 2015 French Open title. Additionally, Wawrinka was a member of the Swiss team that won the Davis Cup in 2014 and also won a Gold Medal in the 2008 Olympics. Stan and doubles partner Marco Chiudinelli played in the longest known doubles match when they faced Tomas Berdych and Lukas Rosol in a match that lasted seven-plus hours.

Monfils is currently ranked 21st in the world. In 2014, he finished in the Top 20 for first time since 2011 and fifth time overall and advanced to the quarterfinals of both the U.S. Open and French Open. He made it to the semifinals of the French Open in 2008 and the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open in 2010.

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Photo credit: Sidney Beal III @ Clique Photography