Williams sisters to play Katrina benefit in New Orleans

Updated: September 1, 2006, 2:24 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Venus and Serena Williams have faced each other with Grand Slam titles on the line. But a match scheduled for December in New Orleans is for larger stakes.

The sisters will play each other in an exhibition on Dec. 5 at New Orleans Arena to benefit Katrina relief efforts, The New Orleans Times Picayune reported Tuesday. A formal announcement was expected to be made during a Katrina-themed ceremony Tuesday night at the U.S. Open in New York.

"After witnessing the destruction of Hurricane Katrina this time last year, Venus and I know that we had to do something to help," Serena Williams said in a prepared statement. "Our hope is that we can help financially and also keep the communities that were affected top of mind."

Other sports were planning to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Katrina with relief efforts on Tuesday.

Major League Baseball planned to mark the anniversary with a special program at each of its 15 home games, featuring a video public service announcement featuring Harry Connick Jr., Faith Hill and Spike Lee and in-stadium graphics with instructions on how fans can donate to or volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.

And the Atlanta Braves said they would donate some of the baseball equipment collected as part of MLB's Baseball Tomorrow Fund to the New Orleans Recreation Department, the Times Picayune reported.