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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Maria to appear at Gullikson Event

Martina Hingis, once the top-ranked women’s player in the world, will add a stop to her comeback itinerary along with rival and 2004 Wimbledon champion, Maria Sharapova, when they join a list of the world’s top tennis players and legends at the The Centex Destination Properties Desert Smash, at La Quinta Resort & Club, March 7 and 8.

Maria Sharapova

In addition, the commitment of No. 3 doubles team of Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor means that two of the top doubles teams in the world will share their time and talents for the event which benefits the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation. Bob and Mike Bryan, the world’s top-ranked duo, previously announced they would participate to help the Gullikson Foundation in its mission to fund programs that provide physical, emotional and social support to brain tumor patients and their families. Mark Woodforde, a top-ranked doubles performer in the 1980s and ‘90s, may give the youngsters a few tips on how to stay on top when he joins the star-studded roster of players.

“I’m pretty partial to good doubles,” said Foundation chairman and former world-ranked doubles player, Tom Gullikson. “That these players, regardless of their specialties, take time from a busy professional schedule to provide their talents and assist brain tumor patients and their families, humbles me.”

Tom Gullikson, the last captain to lead the U.S. Davis Cup team to a title in 1995 and who amassed16 career doubles titles, will be joined at La Quinta by former Spanish sensation, Jose Higueras. American tour professional, Mardy Fish also returns with his frequent doubles partner, James Blake, to support the Tim and Tom Gullikson Foundation in their career streak of generosity.

The golf, tennis and social event marks the second time in as many years the Gullikson Foundation has invited tennis and celebrity talent to the Desert to enjoy themselves and raise money to assist those affected by brain tumors with their daily challenges. Tennis professionals Tim and Tom Gullikson and their families founded the organization after Tim was diagnosed with brain tumors in 1995. At the time of diagnosis, Tim Gullikson was coach to then-No. 1 ranked Pete Sampras. Tim Gullikson lost his battle with brain tumors in May of 1996.

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