Tennis stars stage charity event

Top international women tennis stars were today preparing to compete in a three-day charity tournament in Dublin.
Pin-up stars Anna Kournikova and Barbara Schett were amongst those playing at Dublins RDS centre, in an event expected to raise 500,000 euro (£318,500) for a childrens charity.

Players last night marked the start of the Trilogy event in aid of the Chernobyl Children`s Project when they took to the catwalk alongside supermodels Tyra Banks, Jodie Kidd and Sophie Dahl.

Irish models such as Natasha Byram, Vivienne Connolly and Lizanna Kirwan were also among those modelling with the international sports stars.

Tennis aces were tonight moving back to the courts for the start of the Europe v USA tennis section of the Trilogy.

This evening Lindsay Davenport was taking on Barbara Schett, with Monica Seles facing Anna Kournikova. Other tennis stars in Dublin for the event include Serena and Venus Williams, Jennifer Capriati and Iva Majoli.

Winners of an Irish radio show were to play their tennis heroes at the opening night of the tennis tournament. Dave Crenin, 26, of Cork, was to take on Anna Kournikova, while 12-year-old Emily Burke of Kilkenny was to play Barbara Schett.

The Collins Cup is modelled on golf`s Ryder Cup, with all sportswomen taking part on a voluntary basis. Some 40% of proceeds from the event are to be donated to the Chernobyl project.

The 3.6million euro (£2.3m) festival was originally to have incorporated music as well as fashion and tennis, but organisers were unable to secure a major music act.