In preparation to bringing out the ceremonial first tennis ball at Madison Square Garden on March 4 for the BNP Paribas Showdown, Sports Illustrated swimsuit models, Genevieve Morton and Jarah Mariano played a friendly, yet shockingly competitive ping-pong match at the famous ping-pong social club, SPiN New York, in NYC's Flatiron District.
As great as the ping-pong was, tennis fans are in for a real treat come March 4th. The "World's Most Famous Arena" will host four of the sports most respected tennis players.
World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, fresh off her Australian Open Championship, will square off against America's most dominant tennis player, Serena Williams. Serena would love nothing more than to make a statement on her home turf after the shocking defeat she suffered at the hands of the young American, Sloane Stephens, at the 2013 Australian Open. Azarenka and Williams always have classic matches and it'll make for a great rematch of this past year's US Open Final.
As for the Men, who better to see then Rafael Nadal, who's finally back from his injury that has kept him sidelined for the last two majors. Fans have been patiently waiting for his return back to the court to see his exciting, fast paced style of play. Nadal will be facing the 6'6" Juan Martin del Potro, who currently sits at No. 7 in the world, and will be a great measuring stick for Nadal as he works his way to championship form.
When their ping-pong match concluded and we had a chance to speak to both ladies, we found that the winner of the match, Jarah Mariano, had a distinct advantage. Mariano mentioned that her boyfriend is professional tennis player Fernando Verdasco, which may have given her a slight edge. Genevieve Morton, however, was equally as excited saying: "This is my first ever tennis match!" When asked whom they were looking forward to seeing, they simultaneously said, "Rafael Nadal." It's fair to say that everybody is eager to see Nadal return, and both matches should make for a great night at MSG.