YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS! John McEnroe headlines new Azalea Festival event


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — If you’re going to add a new event to a long-standing tradition like the Azalea Festival, you might as well make a big statement. Few people know how to make big statements like John McEnroe.

Tennis’s all-time bad boy will be on the court to serve up a new event at this year’s Azalea Festival. McEnroe, a 17-time Grand Slam winner (seven singles titles, 10 doubles titles), will take on former world fourth-ranked player Todd Martin in the Azalea Festival Tennis Challenge on Sunday, April 10 at 2 p.m. at Trask Coliseum.

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“The NC Azalea Festival is honored to host the Azalea Festival Tennis Challenge,” festival president Hank Estep said. “Joint efforts with the Greater Wilmington Tennis Association began last summer and have blossomed into a very exciting event the festival is proud to be a part of. This event will give all members of the community a chance to be involved, and our goal is to help with the establishment of the Althea Gibson Tennis Center.”

A free junior tennis clinic will be held from noon to 1 p.m. the day of the match at Empie Park. McEnroe and Martin attend the clinic.

All-time great, tennis pro and Wilmington native Lenny Simpson will join the festival as a Celebrity/Special Guest. Simpson will also serve as director and producer for the Tennis Challenge.

Tickets for the Azalea Festival Tennis Challenge range from $12 to $52. For more information, call (910) 794-4650, go online to or visit the Azalea Festival office at 5725 Oleander Drive, Suite B7.