WITH TOP-RANKED TENNIS PROS VICTORIA AZARENKA, CASPER RUUD, GRIGOR DIMITROV AND FRANCES TIAFOE FOR ON COURT BATTLE FOR CHARITY WITH P!NK, COLTON UNDERWOOD, TIMOTHY OLYPHANT AND OTHER CELEBRITY PLAYERS
The 19th Annual Charity Tennis Event to Benefit Playing For Change Foundation
Desert Smash, the most recognized celebrity tennis event in the world, bringing together the biggest names in pro tennis and entertainment to battle on-court for a cause, returns to the world-renowned La Quinta Resort & Club on March 7, 2023.
For the past 19 years, world class tennis players, composed of ranked WTA and ATP tour players, have generously donated their time to participate in the country’s most prominent charitable set of matches. This year’s pros include two-time Grand Slam Champion, Victoria Azarenka, 2022 Roland Garros and US Open Finalist and current ATP Tour world #4, Casper Ruud, current ATP Tour world #29 and Wilson ambassador, Grigor Dimitrov, WTA Rising Star, Marta Kostyuk, 2023 Australian Open Semi-Finalist, Donna Veki and 2020 Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award winner and ATP Tour world #15, Frances Tiafoe. Past Desert Smash alumni include Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Stan Wawrinka and Andre Agassi.
Each year, this sell-out event gives tennis fans access to a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness some of the best tennis professionals join forces with Hollywood’s biggest celebrities for the one-day extravaganza. This year will be no exception with the addition of Grammy award-winning artist P!nk, who will be making her Desert Smash debut. Expected players to join P!nk include Timothy Olyphant, Gavin Rossdale, Natasha Bedingfield, Colton Haynes, Lance Bass, Colton Underwood, Josh Richards, and more. Additional players to be announced in the coming weeks.
We look forward to welcoming Desert Smash back to La Quinta Resort & Club for another successful event, said General Manager Dermot Connolly. We are proud to play home to an event that not only brings together players, celebrities, fans and supporters alike to contribute to worthy causes, but also celebrates the heritage and comradery of the sport in one of the world’s most iconic tennis destinations.
It’s hard to believe we are approaching nearly two decades of Desert Smash, it’s incredible to see how far the event has come, all the amazing talent who have generously donated their time and the millions we’ve raised over the years, said Ryan Macaulay, SVP and Co-Head of the Brand Innovators Sports & Entertainment Group and Founder of the Desert Smash. With the addition of Brand Innovators this year, and another incredible list of players and celebrities, we cannot wait to see all the action this year will bring, both on and off the court at our original home, La Quinta Resort where the vibe is just incredible. I’m excited to see new and returning players, our incredible sponsor village set up, sip a Desert Smash margarita all the while enjoying fan favorite pros and celebrities having a blast on court while raising money for charity, it doesn’t get much better.”
In traditional Desert Smash fashion, the day will kick off with a LVBL Experience powered by Wilson at the La Quinta Resort & Club Tennis Center. LVBL is a gamified, fast-paced, high cardio, music infused, LIVEBALL king/queen of the court that will include amateurs, touring pros, and celebrities. Find out about them at www.lvbl.club!
Following this fun interactive experience is the fan favorite Desert Smash Tennis Exhibition, with longtime ESPN on-air Grand Slam Tennis host Chris McKendry as the emcee and chair umpires at the helm steering fans through an array of competitive, yet entertaining matches. The on-court matches will begin with a WTA Tour pro player match and continue with celebrity + pro player doubles matches, in Desert Smash form, all mic’d up providing amusing on-court banter! The exhibition will conclude with an ATP Tour men’s singles match featuring two of the most well recognized players in the game. Throughout the entire exhibition, guests can expect on-court special appearances, an incredible on-court live auction, fan interaction and interviews you will only see at Desert Smash!
The official evening after party, Desert Smash Bash, will be hosted at ZENYARA the private estate of billionaire Philanthropist and friend of the event, Michael Scott. The exclusive party will feature an ultra-premium hosted bar, passed hors d’oeuvres and memorable surprise musical performance!
This year’s event, produced with MVA Experiential, Brand Innovators and Epic Sports, will be raising money and awareness for Playing For Change Foundation (PFCF). Founded in 2007, PFCF was established to create positive change through music and arts education. The international non-profit organization is currently operating 17 music programs across 13 countries.
Additional sponsors include Wilson Sporting Goods, Baha Mar Resort, El Tequileno Tequila, Ketel One, Wander + Ivy, Marker Broadcasting Stations.
For live updates around Desert Smash, including additional participants, please visit www.desertsmash.com.
Tickets for Desert Smash and Desert Smash Bash are available for purchase now!
Desert Smash 2023
La Quinta Resort & Club
49-199 Eisenhower Dr, La Quinta, California 92253
About Playing For Change Foundation
For over 15 years, Playing for Change Foundation (PFCF) has helped youth rise up through their own culture using music education to create social and economic change in areas that are economically poor, but culturally wealthy. With 50+ locations across 17 countries and growing, the positive impact of PFCF on youth, families, and communities in need is extraordinary.