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Author, Media Personality Mike Lupica Added As Guest Chair Umpire For August 21 Johnny Mac Tennis Project Event at Sportime Randall’s Island

The Johnny Mac Tennis Project today announced that New York media personality and best-selling author Mike Lupica will serve as a guest chair umpire on Thursday August 21 at Sportime Stadium on Randall’s Island, for its the 2014 benefit night. Lupica will join the announced lineup of Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic, Hall of Famer John McEnroe, New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, actor Edward Norton, World No. 17 Lucie Safarova, 2014 Wimbledon Junior Boys’ and now USTA National Boys 18’s Champion Noah Rubin, NCAA Number One Jamie Loeb, for a fun night of tennis prior to this year’s 2014 US Open.

“I am very pleased that my old friend Mike has decided to join us for a fun night of tennis that will raise funds to help us continue our mission of bringing tennis to young people in and around New York City” McEnroe said. “He better bring his eyeglasses though, because if he misses any line calls, he’ll be hearing from me.”

The JMTP benefit night will feature Djokovic, World No. 1 and 2014 Wimbledon champion, taking on John McEnroe Tennis Academy star Noah Rubin, the 2014 Wimbledon Junior Boys’ champion who more recently won the 2014 US National Boys 18 title in Kalamazoo, MI, earning him a wild card into the main draw of the upcoming US Open at Flushing Meadows. The evening will open with a match-up of 2014 Wimbledon singles semifinalist Lucie Safarova taking on another McEnroe Academy standout, Jamie Loeb, who recently finished her freshman year at North Carolina as the 2014 NCAA Player of the Year. The benefit night will conclude with the eagerly awaited pro-celebrity doubles match featuring Djokovic, McEnroe, Lundqvist and Norton, with long-time NY Daily News columnist and ESPN Radio personality Mike Lupica presiding from the umpire’s chair. All net proceeds from the evening will go to support the efforts of Johnny Mac Tennis Project, a 501(c)(3) public charity formed in 2011.

The twin purposes of JMTP are:

  • To make tennis accessible to hundreds and even thousands of under-resourced kids from the NYC communities surrounding Randall’s Island each year, and to do so in a manner that allows those kids to excel at the game of tennis and to progress as far as their talent and interest takes them.
  • To help train a smaller group of NYC kids to be serious players, with many receiving college scholarships, with the hope that someday soon many of those young athletes will be coming out of these community programs and outreach efforts.

JMTP provides scholarships, coaching, transportation and other financial assistance to qualified young tennis players in the greater New York area, as well as introducing the sport to hundreds of new junior players each year in the neighborhoods surrounding Academy locations. JMTP benefit nights in previous years have featured the likes of Bjorn Borg (2011), Andre Agassi (2012) and Jim Courier (2013). JMTP and Sportime Clubs, home of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, have already provided more than $1.5 million in scholarships and no-cost programming to young players in New York City and its communities. Sportime Randall’s Island has been the flagship location of JMTA since 2010.

Tickets to the event start at $75. To purchase tickets, and for more information about special VIP packages, corporate packages or to become a sponsor, go to JMTPBenefit.com, call (888) 988-6921 or e-mail JMTP2014@sportimeny.com.

Rubin, Loeb Added To JMTP Benefit With Pros Djokovic, Safarova

Noah Rubin and Jamie Loeb, who have made big splashes in the tennis world in recent weeks, will have another big day in the spotlight on August 21, when they join Wimbledon men’s champion Novak Djokovic and women’s semifinalist Lucie Safarova in competing in the Johnny Mac Tennis Project Benefit at SPORTIME Randall’s Island.

John McEnroe, Rangers star Henrik Lundqvist, actor Edward Norton and others will participate in the massive Pre-US Open fundraiser.

“I want to personally thank Novak for donating his time in support of my foundation, Johnny Mac Tennis Project,” said McEnroe. “This a tremendous opportunity for two of our brightest JMTA stars to show their skills against the best in tennis. All of us at JMTA are so proud of what Noah and Jamie have accomplished, and also excited that a player of Lucie’s caliber has added her support to this special night.”

Loeb will take on Safarova, currently ranked at No. 17 on the WTA Tour, at 6:30 p.m., followed by Djokovic, the reigning Wimbledon men’s singles champion, against Rubin at 7:30.

Rubin, 18, of Long Island, advanced through qualifying, winning eight matches – six in the main draw – on the Wimbledon grass to claim the junior title. He defeated sixth-seeded Stefan Kozlov in the finals to cap a run that also included wins over the seventh and 12th seeds.

Loeb, 19, from Ossining, N.Y., had an incredible year at UNC, recording a 53-4 singles mark, including 19-1 in the fall, racking up the most single-season wins in UNC history, and helping the Tar Heels to the National championship match. The ITA All-American in singles and doubles is also the first UNC female player to be the top-ranked singles player in the country.

Safarova, 27, is a native of the Czech Republic. She has won five titles since turning pro in 2002, most recently in Quebec City last year. In addition to her semifinal run at Wimbledon, which included a win over 10th-ranked Dominika Cibulkova, Safarova reached the fourth round at Roland Garros. Her current ranking matches her career best.

The evening will also include pro-celebrity doubles action, featuring Djokovic, McEnroe and their guests, Lundqvist and Norton, both almost as serious about their tennis as they are about their day jobs, as well as other promising junior players from the JMTA, a lively auction and great hospitality, with all net proceeds to support the efforts of Johnny Mac Tennis Project, a 501(c)(3) public charity.

JMTP provides scholarships, coaching, transportation and other financial assistance to qualified young tennis players in the greater New York area, as well as introducing the sport to hundreds of new junior players each year in the neighborhoods surrounding Academy locations. JMTP benefit nights in previous years have featured the likes of Bjorn Borg (2011), Andre Agassi (2012) and Jim Courier (2013).  JMTP and Sportime Clubs, home of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, have already provided over $1.5 million in scholarships and no cost programming to young players in NYC and its communities.