Long-Running Nielsen Pro Tennis Championship Begins Next Week in Winnetka with Proceeds Benefitting NSSRA

Stefan Xidas (Wilmette) and Pat Fragassi, Stefan’s coach and Manager of Winnetka Park District’s Nielsen Tennis Center, play a few friendly matches prior to the start of the evening session at the Nielsen Pro Tennis Championship last year.

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Northbrook, IL – July 3, 2019 – Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association (NSSRA) is again the charitable recipient for the Nielsen USTA Pro Tennis Championship ‪July 8 – July 14, held in Winnetka. The ATP Challenger 80 tournament is a one-of-a-kind event attracting some of the finest tennis players in the world and drawing‬‬‬‬‬ international attention. Net proceeds benefit NSSRA, and in the last 12 years the tournament has donated over $185,000 for programs and services benefitting people with disabilities. ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

NSSRA, founded in 1970, serves approximately 1,800 children, teens and adults with disabilities living in its partner communities throughout the northern suburbs. In addition to its Special Olympics Gator Tennis program, NSSRA has over 500 recreation, sport, cultural and social offerings available during the day, after school, in the evenings and on weekends, creating new experiences, opportunities for leisure time, skill development and perhaps most importantly, friendship. NSSRA’s Gator Athletics/Special Olympics programs span 10 sports with nearly 100 athletes.

In what has become an annual tradition, NSSRA participants Stefan Xidas of Wilmette and Sam Green of Winnetka will sing the National Anthem to open the first night of play. They will also be accompanied on opening night by other athletes with NSSRA’s Gator Tennis team.

Xidas is no stranger to the tournament. In addition to his singing talent, Xidas is also an avid tennis athlete, training with Coach Pat Fragassi at the A.C. Nielsen Tennis Center, as well as with Coach Patrick Sullivan out of Centennial Tennis. In past years Xidas has also played an exhibition match, either against other athletes or one of his coaches, prior to opening matches.

“Being at the tournament really warms my heart,” Xidas said. “I’m really proud to be part of raising money for people with special needs.”

“The Nielsen Pro Tennis Championship has supported NSSRA since 2007,” said NSSRA Executive Director Craig Culp. He continued, “We are honored by the ongoing generosity of the tournament, and our partnership makes a significant impact on the lives of our participants and their families year after year.”

Matches begin Monday, July 8 and finals will take place Sunday, July 14. All matches will be held outdoors at the A.C. Nielsen Tennis Center (530 Hibbard Rd., Winnetka). For more information or tickets, visit www.nielsenprotennis.org.


NSSRA provides and facilitates year-round recreation programs and services for children, teens and adults with disabilities who live in the partner communities. NSSRA is an extension of ten park districts, two cities and one village in the northern suburbs of Chicago. This partnership includes the Park Districts of Deerfield, Glencoe, Glenview, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lake Bluff, Northbrook, Northfield, Wilmette and Winnetka; the Cities of Highwood and Lake Forest; and the Village of Riverwoods. NSSRA has been creating an environment of belonging through play since 1970, and has the distinction as the first Special Recreation Association in the country. For more information about NSSRA and the programs and services it provides, visit www.nssra.org.

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