Ball Kids hit the courts at the Tennis Classic of Macon

Posted by Robin Bateman on October 12, 2013 

Saturday marked semifinal singles play for the USTA pro tennis tournament held at the Jaime Kaplan Tennis Center on Stratford Academy’s campus; it also marked the presence of on-court ball boy/girl/kids. Ball kids help retrieve stray balls after each point. They also give them to the players.  Ball kids, first introduced in Wimbledon 1920, became a success. It wasn’t until 1977 when girls were allowed to help retrieve balls the grassy courts of Wimby.  Today, all Slam events provide a squad of ball retrievers who are trained to move quickly and efficiently around the court. 

Daria Brown a 14 year old tennis player from Macon, GA. had the honor of helping out today as a ball kid.  “This is crazy!” Brown said (about the level of skill the players exhibited, “It’s good to watch it and learn from it.”

Brown had to go to a 30-minute training session to prepare for today’s on-court duties.  “They went over the basics,” said Brown, who missed the pro/am event held Monday evening “I didn’t (make it out), unfortunately.”

Nerves caught Brown off-guard during her first ball retrieval.  “It’s pretty scary when you got two girls hitting the ball so hard.

“Zoom, zoom, zoom,” said Brown, fish-tailing her hand back and forth to demonstrate the verocity and ferocity the players strokes.  “On my first run, I said, ‘okay, don’t mess up, ‘of course [insert dramatic eye roll] I fell.” She lifted up her skinned knee as proof.

The stumble won’t keep Brown from getting back out on court. She’s a tennis player, she knows what it’s like to fall flat on your knee and get back up to ‘win the match’.

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