Canadian Actor to compete in Celebrity Doubles portion during first tennis event held at ACC
Hayden Christensen will appear as part of Team Sampras during the celebrity mixed doubles portion of The Face-Off at the Air Canada Centre , Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 7p.m. The Face-Off features 14-time Grand Slam Champion and Hall of Famer Pete Sampras and one of the tennis world’s fastest rising stars and Milos Raonic. Showcasing the best in Canadian tennis, Raonic (ATP World Tour Top 30) will be joined by WTA star Aleksandra Wozniak (Blainville, Quebec) and the No. 5 ranked junior in the world Eugénie Bouchard(Westmount, Quebec).
Like Raonic, Christensen was raised outside Toronto in Thornhill, Ontario. He was an athlete in high school, playing hockey competitively and tennis on a provincial level.
As an actor, Christensen has found great success in both commercial and independent films and continues to shine in diverse and challenging roles. He was last seen in Brad Anderson’sVanishing on Seventh Street opposite John Leguizamo and Thandie Newton. The film premiered at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival and was released by Magnet in February 2011. Christensen also starred in John Lussenhop’s ensemble film Takers opposite Matt Dillon, Idris Elba and Zoe Saldana. The film opened number one at the box office and has grossed over $65 million.
With his breakout role as the young Anakin Skywalker in George Lucas’ epic Star Wars Trilogy Prequel, Christensen star power soared in both Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones , and Stars Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith . As a young actor, Christensen gained critical acclaim for his role as a troubled teenager in Irwin Winkler’s 2001 drama Life as a House . For his performance, Christensen was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award. Christensen also received the award for “Best Breakthrough Performance” from the National Board of Review.
Christensen also starred opposite Samuel L. Jackson and Rachel Bilson in Doug Liman’sJumper , which grossed over $220 million worldwide. Christensen’s other film credits include:New York, I Love You , Awake , George Hickenlooper’s Factory Girl , Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides and Billy Ray’s Shattered Glass , which was produced by his production company, Forest Park Pictures, in partnership with Cruise/Wagner Productions, Baumgarten/Merims Productions and Lions Gate films.
Christensen is involved with the (RED) campaign and recently participated in a PSA for them that also features Bono, Javier Bardem, Don Cheadle, Penelope Cruz, Claire Danes, Hugh Jackman, Julianne Moore, Gabourey Sidibe, Gwen Stefani, The Jonas Bros., among others.
“When I first decided to host this tennis event, I wanted to not only feature the best in tennis but also integrate other stars from my hometown of Thornhill,” said Raonic, Canada’s highest ranked male singles player ever. “Hayden’s participation more than accomplishes this and I can’t wait to play with him and put on the best show possible for the fans”.
“Living in Los Angeles, California I have certainly played tennis with my fair share of famous actors and actresses but it’s not often I get to play with one my kids know,” said Sampras. “My two young sons can’t believe I am playing with Darth Vader and that he plays tennis”.
The Face-Off will be a tennis exhibition like no other. This one-of-a kind event will be the first ever tennis event at Air Canada Centre, the first time Sampras and Raonic will have played against each other, the first time Sampras has played in Canada since his retirement from the ATP World Tour and the first time Raonic will have played in Canada in 2011.
The format for the evening is scheduled to consist of three components: Celebrity Doubles, Women’s Singles and Men’s Singles. The evening will be complemented with music and fan-interactive components emceed by Wayne Bryan, father of the Bryan Brothers (world’s No. 1 doubles team). Gates will open at 6 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre with an autograph session by the players and play scheduled to start at 7 p.m. (Format and order of play subject to change) .