MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Some of the biggest names in men’s tennis made their way to the Twin Cities Friday, but before the Champions Series began, the pros took on some younger opponents.
The youth vs. pro match-ups are an effort to promote 10 and under tennis. Legends Andre Aggassi, Todd Martin, Jim Courier and Michael Chang take time out during each stop on the tour to play with tomorrow’s champions. Friday they played with some lucky youngsters at the Target Center.
Courier said the program is about easing kids into the sport and making it stick.
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“You don’t ask an 8-year-old kid to play on a major league baseball field, you ask them to play on a t-ball team or a little league team. Tennis is making that leap forward now and I think that makes a lot of sense,” Courier said.
The games seem to be a win-win for all involved.
“My coach kind of gave me the opportunity, and I took it. It’s a lot more fun than I imagined,” said a young man named Ryan.
He also learned a few things as well.
“Making 10 and under tennis a platform for kids to feel successful with tennis will make it stick and get kids more interested in tennis,” Courier said.
“You can take any young kid out in front of a big soccer net with a ball and let them kick it in the net and they feel like they’re good at it,” Courier said. “Tennis can be a little more complex than that. You have to make it a little easier and that’s what 10 and under tennis does.”