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Venus to Play Florida Ballenisles Exhibition Friday; Withdraws from WTA Auckland

December 21, 2011 09:02 AM
venus sittingBallenIsles Country Club member residents Venus and Serena Williams will face off on the stadium court of the club's new state-of-the-art Sports Complex on Friday, Dec. 23, 2011 at 3 p.m. The mixed doubles exhibition from 3-4:30 p.m. will pair Venus with her hitting partner David Witt against Serena and her hitting partner Sasha Bajin.

"Venus and Serena's fiery competitiveness on the court is matched only by how incredibly close they are off-court which is probably why they're also the No. 1-ranked doubles pair," Exhibition Director and BallenIsles Tennis Director Trish Faulkner said.

Both events are complimentary to members and their guests with voluntary donations to benefit the charity Project Aspiration (www.projectaspiration.com), a customized mobile learning center designed to travel to communities throughout Palm Beach County, delivering educational service where needed. The mobile learning center bus, equipped with 19 Satellite Internet-Ready Learning Stations complete with computers, flat panel monitors and a flat panel 47' Instructor Monitor, will be on display throughout the afternoon at BallenIsles.

"Serena and I are looking forward to playing against each other on the stadium court in an event that will entertain members and benefit such a worthy cause," Venus said.

At the same time this week the elder Williams sister withdrew from the WTA event in Auckland, which would have been her 2012 debut and her first appearance since withdrawing from the  2011 US Open and announcing she had been diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome.

"After playing a number of recent exhibition matches, Williams told her agent Carlos Fleming she was not ready to play in Auckland," a statement on the tournament's website said.
Sjogren's syndrome is a chronic disease where white blood cells attack moisture-producing glands and can cause dysfunction of organs and body systems. Williams said she was hoping to play a full 2012 schedule, and has changed her diet to deal with the fatigue produced by the disease.






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