HBO To Air Billie Jean King Cup Live from Madison Square Garden

Posted at 2:58 p.m. ET

Serena Williams says she is healthy and raring to play for the cup that honors her tennis idol.

HBO will air the BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup live on March 2 from Madison Square Garden.  The four women tennis stars competing for the cup are Williams, her older sister Venus, Jelena Jankovic, and Ana Ivanovic. Serena and Ivanovich will face off in the semifinal round while Venus takes on Jankovich.

“Growing up I’ve always watched tennis at Madison Square Garden,” Serena Williams said in a conference call with reporters Friday.  “I’ve always wanted to play there…These New Yorkers can see such high quality tennis for one night.”  

Williams said she is thrilled to be playing in an event that honors tennis icon Billie Jean King.

“Billy Jean King is one of my role models,” Williams said.  “She is my idol.”  Williams spoke about King’s ability to transcend not just tennis but sport as a whole as a symbol of women’s achievement.  “That’s ultimately what I’d like my career to be,” she said.

She said her knee—which recently forced her to withdraw from a tournament in Paris—felt good.

The HBO telecast begins at 7:30 p.m. on March 2. The matches at Madison Square Garden are part of Tennis Night in America, an initiative from the United States Tennis Association.