By Sara Evans

ITF logoNovember 21 - To help promote tennis participation around the world, The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has launched World Tennis Day in an agreement with the sports promoter StarGames.

The inaugural World Tennis Day will be held on March 4 next year as part of the 2013 ITF centenary activities.

The Day will focus on a series of high profile exhibition events around the world.

Each of the events, organised by StarGames, will feature current and former professionals together with demonstrations aimed at increasing take up of the game by young players around the world.

The ITF will also be encouraging its 210 national associations to support World Tennis Day with their own grassroots and club activities.

The Day is supported by the United States Tennis Association (USTA), who have already established an initiative, called Tennis Night in America, which asks clubs to open their doors as part of a month-long drive to get children playing the sport.

Francesco Ricci Bitti nov 18 ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti, left, believes World Tennis Day will "put a spotlight on tennis participation"

More than 2,200 clubs in the United States took part in this initiative in 2012.

Several other national associations have already pledged their support to hold activities on World Tennis Day – including Davis Cup finalists Czech Republic and Spain.

Argentina, Brazil, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, Norway, Portugal and South Africa have pledged to do similar.

"We look forward to World Tennis Day as a way to put a spotlight on tennis participation," said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti.

"The very successful Tennis Night in America, staged by the USTA in association with StarGames, is an example of how special events and participation activities can be combined successfully.

"We look forward to events around the world over the next few years, and to see our 210 member national associations get behind World Tennis Day with activities in their own countries on that day."

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