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December 2, 2008 01:09 AM

Mardy Fish to Face Xavier Malisse During Exhibition
Gullikson, Grosjean, Arias and Washington to Compete in Doubles

Two top ATP tennis stars will face off when Mardy Fish plays Xavier Malisse in a Tennis Exhibition on Saturday, November 22, 2008, at 2:00 p.m. at The Players Club & Spa at Lely Resort in Naples, Florida.  The Tennis Exhibition is part of the 10th annual Swingtime -- A Pro-Celebrity Pro-Am Tennis & Golf Tournament -- Benefiting the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation. A doubles match will follow, featuring Event Host Tom Gullikson paired with Sebastien Grosjean versus Jimmy Arias and MaliVai Washington.

Mardy Fish, who has been ranked in the top 20 in the world, is finishing one of his most successful years on the ATP Tour.  In March, he reached the finals in Indian Wells, California, succumbing to then World Number 1, Roger Federer, and again was a finalist in New Haven, Connecticut, in August.  Fish then made it to the quarterfinals of the US Open, but was defeated by the World Number 1 player at that time, Rafael Nadal.  He has won two singles and four doubles titles on the ATP Tour and was a silver medallist at the 2004 Olympics. 

Belgian Xavier Malisse is a name familiar to Floridians for his two singles titles won in Delray Beach in 2005 and 2007.  Malisse has one other ATP singles title plus four ATP doubles titles, and reached the semifinal at the 2002 Wimbledon Championships.  His career-high ATP singles ranking was Number 19 in the world.

The Tennis Exhibition will also have a competitive doubles match between the teams of Gullikson/Grosjean and Arias/Washington.  Sebastien Grosjean had a career-high singles ranking of Number 4 in the world, reached the semifinals in the French Open (2001), Australian Open (2001), and Wimbledon (2003, 2004), and represented his native France in Davis Cup for eight years.  Teammate Tom Gullikson was a six-time U.S. Davis Cup Captain and also the U.S. Olympic Coach for Men’s Tennis in 1996.  Playing on the ATP Tour, Gullikson was best known for his 15 doubles victories, 10 of which were won with twin brother, Tim.  Gullikson coached superstar Jennifer Capriati in her first two years on the professional tour as well as assisted in developing the talents of many top men’s tour players when he managed the USTA Touring Pro Program.

Jimmy Arias had a career-high singles ranking of Number 5 in the world, four ATP singles titles and was French Open Mixed Doubles Champion in 1982.  He currently plays on the men’s senior tour, Outback Champion Series, and serves as a commentator for ESPN International and the Tennis Channel.  Arias’ teammate, MaliVai Washington, was also a four-time ATP singles winner, reached the Wimbledon Final in 1996, and had a career-high singles ranking of Number 11.  Washington has also been a TV analyst for ESPN and an on-court interviewer for the USTA at the US Open. 

Each year Swingtime spectators and participants have the opportunity to watch and interact with new players and as well as returning favorites.  At the 2008 event, Sebastien Grosjean will be making his Swingtime debut.  MaliVai Washington, who participated in past Swingtime events at its former location in Palm Beach County, is making his debut in Naples.

Swingtime is offering a special 10% discount to USTA members to attend the Tennis Exhibition.  Box Seats are $63 and General Admission tickets are $31.50 for USTA members.  Limited spots are available to play in the round robin Tennis Pro-Am, Saturday, November 22, at 10:00 a.m.; invitations to the Swingtime Gala presented by The Law Offices of Andy M. Custer, which includes a cocktail reception, gourmet dinner, silent and live auctions and luau-themed entertainment, on November 22, at 7:00 p.m. are available for $250 per person; and limited spots are available in the Golf Pro-Am Tournament on Sunday, November 23, at 9:00 a.m.  To inquire about details, please phone (561) 394-9190 or visit the website www.chevents.com.

Joining the players participating in the Tennis Exhibition, this year’s Swingtime celebrity guest list includes current and former tennis stars Lori McNeil, Kathy Rinaldi, Corina Morariu, Wendy Turnbull, Johan Kriek, Harold Solomon, Brian Gottfried, Ricardo Acuna, and Jay Berger. Other celebrities planning to make the scene are actress Robin Givens and actor Michael Lombardi from FX’s Rescue Me, TV announcer Brett Haber, baseball’s Mike Cuellar, Rennie Stennett and Bill Gullickson, football’s Jim “Crash” Jensen, Marvin Jones, Don Silvestri and Troy Drayton.

Over the past ten years, Swingtime has raised more than $1,000,000 for The Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation.  The Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation was established in 1995 after Tim was diagnosed with malignant brain tumors. Tim Gullikson, who as a coach helped establish Pete Sampras as the top player in the world, died in 1996, at age 44, after losing his battle with the disease. The Foundation’s mission is to fund care and support programs to assist brain-tumor patients and their families in managing the physical, emotional and social challenges presented by the illness. Among other things, the Foundation funds information and support phone lines for brain tumor patients and their families, sends children who are brain tumor survivors to camp, and gives college scholarships to students who have been affected by brain tumors.  For information on the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation please visit their website at www.gulliksonfoundation.org.

Lee Memorial Health System, a seven hospital system with over 1,000 beds and numerous ambulatory systems throughout Lee County, is the local beneficiary of the 10th annual Swingtime. Lee Cancer Care is a service within the Lee Memorial Health System that provides programs and treatments for over 5,000 cancer patients each year.  With the support of the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation, Lee Memorial Health System intends to establish a patient “Navigator” that will assist brain tumor patients throughout their journey.

The official Swingtime host sponsor, Stock Development, is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing development companies in Southwest Florida, with properties from Naples to Punta Gorda. Specializing in the development of amenity rich communities, the company's craftsmanship and expertise are proudly displayed in five of the regions most celebrated communities: Lely Resort Golf & Country Club, Olde Cypress in Naples; Grandezza in Estero; Paseo in Ft. Myers and Vivante at Punta Gorda. For more information about Stock Development please visit www.stockdevelopment.com.

The Law Offices of Andy M. Custer, which is located in Palm Beach County and dedicated to protecting your right to justice, is continuing its support of Swingtime by sponsoring this year’s Swingtime Gala, which is now titled the Swingtime Gala presented by The Law Offices of Andy M. Custer. 

Official sponsors of Swingtime include Allen Systems Group (ASG), CW 6 TV, GreenLinks Golf Resort & Conference Center, JetBlue Airways, Meridian Broadcasting - WINK 1240 am, Naples Daily News, Naples Illustrated, Naples, Marco Island, Everglades, Paradise Coast – CVB, Nike, and Tennis Week. 

C & H Events, Inc. is a full-service event management and marketing company based in Boca Raton, Fla. Among the tennis events C & H Events manages in addition to Swingtime are The Oliver Group Champions Cup – men’s senior tennis tournament, Mardy’s Tennis & Jake’s Music Fest to Benefit the Mardy Fish Foundation, and Couples Resorts Tennis Fantasy Camp. Please visit www.chevents.com for further details about C & H Events. 






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