Feb 22, 2018

Serena Williams to Host 14th Desert Smash 3/6/18 @ La Quinta Resort & Club

Press Release

The Desert Smash is known for bringing together some of the biggest names in Hollywood with some of the world's most renowned tennis players, and this year again is no exception as one of all of sport’s biggest names is set to kick off the 14th annual event in the desert!

Twenty-three time Grand Slam Champion Serena Williams is returning to the desert and will be hosting and participating in this year’s entertaining Desert Smash Pro/Celebrity Tennis Exhibition to benefit The Yetunde Price Resource Center (YPRC), founded by Serena and Venus, in honor of their eldest sister who was killed by an act of senseless violence in 2003. Its namesake, Serena and Venus’ sister, based in Compton, CA and committed to helping others heal, The YPRC assists, educates and strengthens individuals and families affected by violence and trauma. The YPRC works collaboratively with the other Southern Los Angeles based partner organizations to offer a variety of free programs in safe, healing-centered environments.

In an exciting new partnership with Tennis Channel, this year’s event will take place on Tuesday, March 6th, 2018, and will be returning to the world-renowned La Quinta Resort & Club, a Waldorf Astoria Resort in La Quinta, California, where the Desert Smash originally began 14 years ago. Consistently ranked one of the top tennis resorts in the country, La Quinta Resort & Club boasts state-of-the-art tennis facilities surrounded by vibrant flower-filled patios and breathtaking views of the rugged Santa Rosa Mountains and offers nothing short of an extraordinary tennis experience. This year’s annual charity “Live-Ball” play will also be hosted by actor Boris Kodjoe and benefit Sophie’s Voice Foundation.

Tennis Channel will provide Desert Smash with live national television exposure for the first time in the exhibition’s history. Live television segments along with digital and social media activity throughout the day – as part of the network’s coverage of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif. – will feature event updates with celebrity and player interviews. The network is also working closely with the Desert Smash team this year to facilitate celebrity introductions and expand the exhibition’s roster of star participants.

“We’re beyond excited for Tennis Channel to partner with Ryan Macaulay and Boris Kodjoe in supporting Desert Smash, the world’s biggest tennis celebrity pro-am event,” said Ken Solomon, president, Tennis Channel. “Professional tennis and Hollywood have always been deeply entwined, and over the years Desert Smash has brought together the strength of the biggest celebrities and top tennis stars to raise awareness and resources for those in need. We’re hopeful that this marks the beginning of a new era in this unique event’s successful history, and that a national television platform and worldwide digital presence, along with our Sinclair-owned sister stations, bring even more people to support this cause and enjoy the festivities this time around.”

"La Quinta Resort & Club is the original home of the Desert Smash and it is exciting to once again play host to this annual event. We look forward to celebrating the tournaments’ 14th year in support of the Yetunde Price Resource Center,” said Victor Woo, General Manager, La Quinta Resort & Club. “Known as the original desert hideaway and Hollywood’s favorite escape for over ninety years, our desert oasis is a perfect match for this event and we are honored to welcome top tennis professionals and celebrities to our world-class tennis facilities.”

Ryan Macaulay, Founder of the Desert Smash notes, “We’re thrilled to be back to La Quinta Resort & Club, where it all began. There is not a more picturesque or beautiful setting than their stadium court and we know their accommodations and other facilities are the desert’s best. The Desert Smash has always been about accessibility to players and celebrities, and La Quinta Resort’s intimate tennis stadium continues in that tradition. We look forward to a full house and a great day raising money for charity!”

The Desert Smash Celebrity/Pro-Am Tournament is arguably one of the country's most prominent charitable set of matches, composed of ranked WTA and ATP Tour players and some of the most notable and recognized celebrity players from Hollywood. Past professional tennis participants include ATP World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, John Isner, Stan Wawrinka, ATP World No. 1 doubles team Mike and Bob Bryan, Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf, Maria Sharapova, Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka and Eugenie Bouchard.

Each year, this sell-out event attracts both celebrity and tennis fans for a once in a lifetime opportunity to play and rub elbows with the world’s best tennis players. Past celebrity hosts and attendees include Will Ferrell, Jon Hamm, Kevin Hart, Rebel Wilson, Joel McHale, Michael B. Jordan, Justin Chambers, Timothy Olyphant, Lance Bass and Boris Kodjoe.

In traditional Desert Smash fashion, the day kicks off with the renowned Southern California competitive, high-energy on-court workout, “Tennacity,” also known in some tennis circles as “Live Ball.” Following this fun, interactive experience is the fan favorite Pro vs. Celebrity Exhibition singles and doubles matches, which will take place on La Quinta’s picturesque Stadium Tennis Court.

Following an unmatched day of tennis and fundraising, La Quinta Resort & Club will host an evening cocktail party and live entertainment with a set by world famous DJ Bob Sinclar and other to be announced surprise celebrity entertainers. Previous performances included sets by Justin Bieber, Ja Rule, Lifehouse, Nelly, Natasha Bedingfield, RedFoo, Boyz II Men, Skunk Baxter and Gavin Rossdale.

Tickets are available for purchase now! For more event information, AND TO PURCHASE PLAYING SPOTS AND TICKETS, please visit:

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