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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Saturday / January 19.
  • Serena and Venus Williams to compete in upcoming Tie Break Tens tournament at Madison Square Garden

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    Serena Williams won’t play in the upcoming Australian Open, but she and her sister will compete at Madison Square Garden in March.

    Tie Break Tens, the new fast-paced short-form tennis format, revealed today that Serena and Venus Williams will compete in the 5th tournament of the Tie Break Tens series, which will be held at  Madison Square Garden on March 5 The all-women contest is the first time a Tie Break Tens tournament will be held in the United States and follows successful tournaments in London, Vienna, Madrid and Melbourne.

    Tie Break Tens tournaments are held over one session and involve 8 players competing in a knock-out format, with each match consisting of a super tie-break to ten points. For the New York competition, eight world-class female tennis players, including the legendary Williams sisters, will battle it out to raise the trophy and secure the $250,000 winner’s prize.

    “Tie Break Tens is a really interesting fast-paced format that is taking the Tennis world by storm,” Serena said. “I am excited to be playing in the first ever US tournament and cannot wait to play at Madison Square Garden with my sister.”

    Defending champion Serena pulled out of the Australian Open because she isn’t feeling fit enough to compete. In a new Vogue cover story, she revealed the extent of her medical issues post-childbirth and how she approaches playing Venus.

    Williams has won 23 career Grand Slam singles titles, most in the Open Era and one shy of Margaret Court’s all-time mark of 24.

    “I absolutely want more Grand Slams,” she told Vogue. “I’m well aware of the record books, unfortunately. It’s not a secret that I have my sights on 25.”

    Venus has won seven Grand Slam titles and reached the finals of the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2017.

    “I’m looking forward to playing in the next Tie Break Tens tournament with my sister, particularly in front of a New York crowd on home soil,” she said. “It’s unlike anything we’ve seen in tennis before and it helps bring in new fans to the sport.”

    The most recent Tie Break Tens tournament was held in Melbourne Park’s Margaret Court Arena earlier this week in association with the Australian Open. The tournament included the men’s tennis world’s most successful champions including World No. 1 Rafael Nadal and former World No.1 Novak Djokovic as well as Nick Kyrgios, Milos Raonic, Tomas Berdych, Dominic Thiem, Lucas Pouille and Lleyton Hewitt. After a heated battle with Rafael Nadal in the final, World No. 19 Tomas Berdych, was crowned the Tie Break Tens champion.

    Felicity Barnard, CEO of Tie Break Tens said: “We’re thrilled that Serena and Venus are competing in the first Tie Break Tens to be played on US soil, in such an iconic venue. Hot on the heels of a sell-out men’s tournament in Melbourne this week, it’s clear that Tie Break Tens is fast becoming a regular fixture in the Tennis calendar.”

    The first Tie Break Tens tournament was held in 2015 in London’s Royal Albert Hall, where British rising star Kyle Edmund saw off top-seed Andy Murray in a gripping final to take the $250,000 prize. There have also been Tie Break Tens tournaments held in Vienna in 2016 and Madrid in 2017, where World No. 1 Simona Halep smashed her way to victory in the women’s tournament before going on to win the Mutua Madrid Open.

    The remaining six participants in the New York tournament will be announced shortly.

    Tickets for Tie Break Tens are priced at $350, $250, $125, $75 and $30 and go on sale on Thursday, January 11 at 10:00 am ET.  Tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at or

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.