Gael Monfils d Stan Wawrinka 7-6 6-3
Serena Williams d Caroline Wozniacki 7-5 6-4
It was an electric night at the 2016 BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden. Returning for its ninth year, the BNP Paribas Showdown featured matches with some of the very best in tennis - and with a very special tribute to one of the best to ever play the game, Serena Williams.
In the opening match, world # 3, Stan Wawrinka, took on good friend and foe, Gael Monfils, in what can be categorized as one big highlight reel. Both playing for their first time at Madison Square Garden, they quickly warmed up to the crowd and showed off the moves that have propelled them to the top of the men’s game: powerful groundstrokes with the best one-handed backhand in the tennis from Wawrinka, and the now-famous acrobatics and unworldly athleticism displayed by Monfils. After all was said and done, Monfils edged past Wawrinka in two tough sets 7-6, 6-3.
In the night’s feature match, world # 1 Serena Williams took on best friend and rival, Caroline Wozniacki. Serena treated the packed house to a show of booming groundstrokes and serves that had Caroline on the defensive throughout the match. In this two-set battle with spectacular points, Serena proved to be too tough and powerful, taking out Wozniacki 7-5 6-4.
The star-studded matchups were no the only highlight of the 2016 event. At the end of the men’s match, the women decided to come on court to join their friends in a game of mixed doubles, one that provided the crowd with great entertainment and many laughs. Serena even did some singing, and at one point jokingly chastised her partner, Stan Wawrinka, for not getting to a ball that her sister Venus would have gotten to.
As a part of World Tennis Day - a platform and initiative built around encouraging participation in the sport at the grassroots level - the USTA will host youth tennis events all over the country to kick off the spring season. On a global scale, thousands of events and clinics will take place throughout the month of March to promote staying active, healthy, and having fun while playing tennis.