19th Annual Gootter – Jensen Grand Slam Tennis Event Brings Kim Clijsters, Greg Kinnear

The Gootter-Jensen Grand Slam tennis event returns on Sunday, Apr. 21 at the Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa. Over the past 19 years the event has helped raise millions of dollars to support the efforts of the Steven M. Gootter Foundation (in partnership with the Jensen Foundation since 2023) whose common goal is to defeat sudden cardiac death (the disease that took Steven Gootter from his family at age 42) through research endowments and the placement of over 450 life-saving automated external defibrillators throughout the region.

This year, in addition to tennis exhibition matches, a pickleball match has been added along with some very special guests.  Beginning at 4pm, players from the UA Women’s Tennis team will challenge local tennis pros John Perry (Refkin Tennis Center), Sean Miller (Tucson Country Club), Amanda Fink (La Paloma Country Club), and Jonas Ehrlin (Ventana Country Club).  

Pickleball begins at 5pm featuring tennis greats Kim Clijsters and Sam Querrey vs. local pros Brian Branscome (Pickleball pro at Ventana Canyon CC) and Nik Slater (Pickleball pro at La Paloma CC), The main event follows with Clijsters, Querrey, and the Jensen brothers – Murphy and Luke, and special guest Academy Award-nominee Greg Kinnear, who will also provide commentary throughout the afternoon. 

For tickets and additional information visit https://stevenmgootterfoundation.org/

About the Players 

Kim Clijsters became No. 1 in the world twice in her career, once in 2003 (in singles and doubles) and also in 2011 after having her first baby. She became the first No. 1 in the world as a mother. Clijsters won 41 singles titles and 11 doubles titles in her career, including four grand slams in singles and two grand slams in doubles. She was also runner-up in 4 grand slams. Additionally, Clijsters won 3 consecutive WTA Tour championships, and helped Belgium win the Fed Cup. She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2017. Known for her vibrant personality and incredible athleticism, it was always exciting to watch Clijsters display her prowess on the court.  Currently, she is co-owner of the Major League Pickleball team the Las Vegas Night Owls.

Sam Querrey reached a world ranking of No. 11 in singles in 2018. He won 10 ATP tour singles titles in addition to five ATP tour doubles titles. He defeated No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the 2016 Wimbledon championships, halting his run of four consecutive grand slam championships.

The next year, he beat the then No. 1 Andy Murray at Wimbledon.  In addition, he defeated Rafael Nadal for the Acapulco championship in 2017, and became the highest ranked American male tennis player that year.  Known for his thunderous serve, Querrey holds the record for 10 consecutive aces in a match.  He is currently a professional pickleball player on the PPA tour and a member of the Major League Pickleball team the D.C. Pickleball team.

Academy Award Nominee Greg Kinnear has had a long and varied career in the entertainment industry. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 1985 with a degree in broadcast journalism, and then started a career as a talk show host, becoming the first host of the celebrated “Talk Soup” from 1991-1995. His first film was “Blankman” which led to a supporting role in the remake of Sydney Pollack’s “Sabrina” in 1995. In 1997, he was cast in James L. Brook’s comedy “As Good As It Gets”, for which he received the Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor. His resume lists over 50 movies, including “You’ve Got Mail”, “Little Miss Sunshine”, “Nurse Betty”, “Baby Mama”, Stuck in Love” and “Invincible”, where he portrayed Philadelphia Eagles Coach Dick Vermeil. Kinnear has also appeared in over 20 television series. A versatile actor, he has portrayed good guys and bad guys alike.

Following the tennis action, the Gootter – Jensen Foundation Philanthropic Award will be presented to Anita and Bradley Feder.  Dinner under the stars will follow on the adjacent clay court.

Anita and Bradley Feder are native Tucson philanthropists with a vested interest in the mission of the Gootter-Jensen Foundation in honor of their good friend Steve Gootter. Though their most rewarding achievement remains the creation and launch of their children Brennen (25) and Alexis (23), the Feders have always balanced family life with entrepreneurial ventures and community investment. Brad has stayed busy with several successful local businesses including RightFAX, Nextrio, Simply Bits and Desert Lab Studio. Meanwhile, Anita ran everything else, serving in critical C-Suite roles including wife, mom and chief volunteer. Organizations like El Rio, Casa de los Niños, Ronald McDonald House, American Heart Association and American Cancer Society have benefited from their creativity, connections and countless hours of work. Particularly near and dear to their hearts are Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse, the Ginny Clements Breast Cancer Research Center and the Father’s Day Council of Tucson, supporting the Steele Children’s Research Center and its efforts to find a cure for children diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. 

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