Sunday saw the first Grand Slam since the tour shutdown take place—online, of course. Participants teamed up to compete in Mario Tennis on Nintendo Switch, with John McEnroe and YouTube personality iJustine providing commentary.
The eight star-studded teams for the Stay at Home Slam included Serena Williams and Gigi Hadid, Naomi Osaka and Hailey Bieber, Venus Williams and DeAndre Hopkins, Maria Sharapova and Karlie Kloss, Madison Keys and Seal, Kei Nishikori and Steve Aoki, Taylor Fritz and Addison Rae and Kevin Anderson and Ryan Tannehil.
Swapping my racquet for a @nintendo Switch controller in the #StayAtHomeSlam ???? I’m teaming up with @rtannehill17 to play some other great teams for covid-19 relief charities. I’ll be playing for @ctaop. Hope you’ll watch today on @facebookgaming at 4pm ET to see who wins! ???? @imgtennis
Osaka and Bieber had to retire due to connection issues, while the much-hyped Serena and Hadid tandem lost in the first round (as did Venus and Hopkins, and Sharapova and Kloss).
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TOMORROW (Sunday, May 3rd) !!!!!!!! Excited to be teaming up with my girl @serenawilliams to play doubles in the Mario Tennis Aces / @imgtennis STAY AT HOME SLAM to raise money for COVID-19 relief ???????? I (Bowser Jr.) will be playing for @feedingamerica and she (Mario) will be playing for The Compton Unified School District - all the charities being played-for will be receiving $25k, & the winning team will split 1 MILLION DOLLARS for their charities ‼️‼️‼️ Tune in to the tournament tomorrow, LIVE on Facebook Gaming (link in bio) starting at 1pm PST / 4pm EST #StayAtHomeSlam
“I’m going to have to hang up my controller,” Anderson said, after his semifinal loss to Nishikori and Aoki. “That was too good for us. I’ll guess we’ll have to train harder and come back next year."
Got my game face on and dressed for the occasion but my Mario gaming skills need major work ????. Thank you @imgatennis for bringing us together and helping us collectively donate 1.4 million to so many inspiring charities during these unprecedented times. @nokidhungry ❤️
The matches were ultra competitive, especially as the one-day, winner-takes-all tournament progressed.
The final came down to Fritz and Rae against Nishikori and Aoki. Fritz and Rae took home the title by a 6-4 margin, and got to donate $1 million to No Kid Hungry.
“I play a lot of video games and recently got back into it because there’s been a lot of virtual athlete tournaments,” Fritz said, ahead of the event. "I’ve never played Mario Tennis, but I want to win this really bad."
Fritz had a slight edge against the competition thanks to his passion for video games; he owns a professional gaming chair and is an esports investor.
“I was more nervous there than in any of my real matches,” Fritz said. “This was so much fun. Addison absolutely carried the team.”
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