The 2023 Delray Beach Open (DBO) champion has been crowned and while the pro matches were fantastic, the true standout was the USTA Florida hosted events like Kids Day and the Wheelchair Tennis Showcase.
On February 11, USTA Florida served up a handful of tennis-related activities to 125 children regardless of their skill at the DBO Kids Day. From beginner tennis drills to some doubles play opportunities, the excitement could be felt throughout the complex.
USTA Florida Director of Community Tennis, Danielle Gooding, was thrilled to see so many youth players given a chance to experience the sport. “Kids had the opportunity to join in on Net Generation drills, some mini court red ball rallying, full court doubles fun and a Queen & King of the court competition!” she said. “ATP player Ivo Karlovic and former pro Jan Michael Gambill also stopped by to say ‘hi’ to the kids, which made their day.”
Later in the event, on February 16, USTA Florida put on a Wheelchair Tennis Showcase, which was an amazing experience for everyone involved. Seven wheelchair players participated in basic drills and, singles, doubles, and triples exhibitions for the crowd. Even former ATP pro, Mike Bryan, made a surprise visit in the middle of the matches, telling players and fans that he had never competed from a wheelchair before he got into a one and experienced the sport like that for the first time with the other competitors on the court.
Adaptive & Wheelchair Play Coordinator, Will Speed was delighted to see so many people interested in wheelchair tennis and that the exhibition proved that anyone could participate. “It was inspiring to see so many faces out there watching our wheelchair players display what the sport is all about,” he said. “Mike was also able to show that you don’t have to be bound to a wheelchair to get involved with it either.”
To learn more about Wheelchair Tennis visit ustaflorida.com/wheelchair and see how you can get involved today.