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The Elton John AIDS Foundation is pleased to announce that Maria Sharapova will join Mardy Fish, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Mark Philippoussis, and Andy Roddick at the World TeamTennis Smash Hits benefit  on October 10. The Caesars Palace event is co-hosted by Elton and Billie Jean King.  Also joining the line-up is former world No. 1 doubles standout Liezel Huber.

Tennis action is set for 6:30 p.m. PT on a specially-constructed tennis court in the valet parking lot off of Caesars Palace Drive with the pre-match VIP Reception and Auction kicking off at 5 p.m.

This will be Ms. Sharapova’s WTT Smash Hits debut.  “I am really excited to get back on the court for a great cause,” she said. “I have been wanting to play this event for Billie and Elton for a long time so I am looking forward to a great night of tennis.”

Last year’s event at Caesars Palace raised more than $1 million, bringing the historic total to more than $14 million for the EJAF and various local AIDS charities since 1993.  Elton, Billie Jean, and all players will participate in the pre-match live auction (to include a piano bench autographed by the former). 

Captained by Elton and Billie Jean, the players will form two teams and play a WTT match featuring singles and doubles matches. The songwriter will participate in a celebrity doubles match to open the event. Last year, Team Elton took a 12-11 edge in the overall series with a 17-11 win over Team Billie Jean.