Andy Roddick sued the cancer charity Miracle Match Foundation for theft, breach of contract and fraud stemming from an unpaid $100,000 appearance fee for an exhibition match he played in Connecticut last September, according to the Courthouse News Service.
The retired former U.S. Open champion claimed he received two $50,000 checks a week before his match and meet-and-greet with sponsors. But Roddick alleged that the checks bounced three days after the charity event, which included current ATP player Jack Sock, former WTA player Gigi Fernandez and LuAnn de Lesseps from The Real Housewives of New York. Miracle Match never intended to compensate him, according to Roddick.
Tennis player and cancer survivor Bill Przybysz established the Miracle Match Foundation in 1997. Pete Sampras, John McEnroe and Anna Kournikova are among the players who have participated in the leukemia foundation’s annual charity matches over the years.
Last March, a Michigan television report detailed the foundation’s woes.
[T]he foundation has generated few funds for sick kids or leukemia research.
According to its 2004 financial statements filed with the IRS, Miracle Match was able to spend only $3,616 on “sick kids/family support” and nothing for research, while listing a negative balance of $377,000 for that year.
The 2004 financial statement was the last one provided to the IRS and it wasn’t sent until 2010. That is why the IRS withdrew the foundation’s non-profit status in 2010 as it cracked down on charities that failed to make financial reports.
Roddick’s decision to sue the charity has drawn the ire of a few bloggers. But Roddick told Tennis.com that if he wins the suit he’ll give the money to the very charities that were supposed to benefit from the exhibition.
“I simply expect Miracle Match Foundation to live up to their word and obligations,” Roddick said in a statement released to TENNIS.com. “They have repeatedly had issues paying the participants of their matches and very little of the money raised from these events actually goes to charity. 100% of the money I win in this case will go to the charities, which were originally supposed to benefit from that night.”
Here’s video from the sparsely attended charity event held at Mohegan Sun Arena on Sept. 14. Roddick had retired a week earlier after losing in the fourth round of the U.S. Open.