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Steffi Graf

Charity dinner for Children for TomorrowLongines Future Tennis Aces

As official partner of the French Open at Roland-Garros, the Swiss watchmaker Longines has decided to seek out future tennis champions this year. Sixteen children from all around the world will be playing in a tournament leading up to an exciting mixed doubles final involving Gustavo Kuerten and Mary Pierce, who both won the French Open ten years ago. After this event, Longines will be continuing its support for disadvantaged children through its sponsorship of the charity foundations set up by Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf, two of the brand’s Ambassadors of Elegance. Finally, at a charity dinner a representative of the famous Swiss watch company will have the singular honour of presenting the Longines Prize for Elegance to a sportsperson whose commitment to helping those in need deserves recognition.

Longines has chosen to look to the future at Roland-Garros this year by focusing on young tennis talent and organising a tournament under the title of Longines Future Tennis Aces. In order to promote sport, respect for others, fair play and tolerance, the Swiss watchmaker will be hoping to find the tennis champions of tomorrow. In line with its slogan “Elegance is an attitude”, Longines sponsors the "Andre Agassi Foundation For Education" and "Children for Tomorrow" as well as supporting the "Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy", a school that offers the most disadvantaged children a chance in life. Gustavo Kuerten and Mary Pierce, who were both former champions at Roland-Garros ten years ago, have kindly agreed to participate in the event. Moreover, Gustavo Kuerten (who has set up the Instituto Guga Kuerten) is also keen to give disadvantaged children a chance in life. He has decided to sponsor five children who attend Andre Agassi’s school for the duration of their schooling.

Rising Tennis-Stars

Longines has invited 16 children (8 boys and 8 girls between the ages of 10 and 12) from all around the world to come to Paris. Having been selected in their own countries through their national tennis federations, these rising stars are among the best players of their age. At Roland-Garros they will be playing in the Longines Future Tennis Aces tournament on 3 and 4 June. They will be playing singles in two groups – boys and girls – and will play the best of 3 sets, each game being scored on the basis of a 5-point tie-break. The children will be coached by Mansour Bahrami, who set up the Legends Trophy, as well as Tsung-Hua Yang, who is also among Longines’ Ambassadors of Elegance. The two winners of the tournament will then team up with Gustavo Kuerten and Mary Pierce for a show final that will take place on Saturday, 5 June 2010, on court no. 7 at Roland-Garros. This match will give the children an opportunity to play alongside two tennis legends and to gain immeasurable experience. To reward and support the young victors, Longines will be offering them an annual reward of $2,000 until they are 16 aimed at encouraging their career in tennis. After the final, Longines will also be donating a cheque for $100,000 to the foundations set up by Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf, which will be presented personally to two children from the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas. A press conference is planned for Saturday 5 June at 12.45 p.m. at the Roland-Garros Tenniseum when the various charity actions will be presented in detail.

Longines Prize for Elegance

At a charity dinner in the evening, Longines will have the honour of presenting an award to a sportsperson whose commitment to helping the most underprivileged deserves recognition. In awarding the Longines Prize for Elegance, the Swiss watchmaker will be paying tribute to a tennis player who has demonstrated true elegance in his or her heart. Finally, Longines will also be taking advantage of the occasion to launch its Longines Admiral Chronograph Ceramic. The dial of this magnificent self-winding mechanical chronograph is surrounded by a black ceramic bezel and the model is altogether a perfect example of beauty combined with performance. Longines’ latest model in its line of elegant sports watches is mounted on a stainless steel bracelet whose central links are also in ceramic.

Based in St. Imier in Switzerland since 1832, the watchmaker Longines can look back on more than 175 years of non-stop craftsmanship, as well as a solid heritage as timekeeper for world championships in various sports and collaborator with different international sports federations. Known for the elegance of its timepieces, Longines is a member of the Swatch Group Ltd, the World’s leading manufacturer of horological products. With the winged hourglass as its emblem, the brand has outlets in over 130 countries.

About the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education

The Andre Agassi Foundation for Education seeks to transform public education in two ways. Through its signature project, the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, the Foundation works to provide underserved children in Las Vegas with a first-class education from kindergarten to 12th grade to prepare them for excellence in college and beyond.  Through state and national advocacy, the Foundation strives to increase investment in, and accountability for, public schools.

Children for Tomorrow

Children for Tomorrow is a non-profit that provides assistance to children and families who have become victims of war, persecution, and violence by helping to heal the psychological wounds within. The Foundation was established 1998 by Stefanie Graf in cooperation with the Outpatient Clinic for Refugee Children and their Families at the University Clinics of Hamburg-Eppendorf.