By Nicholas J. Walz, USTA.com
To help kick off a month-long series of free play events and to inspire more young players to get on the court and in the game, the USTA will attempt to set the Guinness World Records® title for the ‘‘Largest Tennis Lesson.”
The event, which will be held on Sunday, March 2, will feature more than 250 children from local youth organizations in the New York area. Alongside tens of instructors, they will participate in the Guinness World Records attempt at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., site of the US Open.
The celebration arrives one day before World Tennis Day on Monday, March 3. World Tennis Day is set to launch thousands of Tennis Play Events throughout the U.S. in March, encouraging families and children of all ages and abilities to try tennis. Capping the day will be the BNP Paribas Showdown inside New York’s famed Madison Square Garden, which will feature US Open and Wimbledon champion Andy Murray facing former world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, and an all-siblings doubles matchup between the Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, and the McEnroe brothers, John and Patrick.
The USTA will hold a special presentation recognizing the World’s Largest Tennis Lesson preceding the evening’s tennis matches at the Garden.
Joining the efforts to get kids excited about the sport is Judy Murray, mother of Andy Murray, who will participate in the special presentation and an on-court youth tennis demonstration with local New York City kids.
“I am excited to be part of the USTA’s efforts to enrich the lives of young people,” said Judy Murray. “Tennis is a fun way for parents to play with their children and encourage them to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.”
Since 2009, the USTA has utilized World Tennis Day to provide a platform for facilities to register children for spring and summer programming. To date, more than 6,500 youth tennis events have been held as part of that initiative. Youth Tennis is focused on ensuring a positive first experience for kids by offering play for all ages and levels.
The Guinness World Records attempt will take place March 2 from 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET. Participating youth organizations will include the New York Junior Tennis and Learning (NYJTL) and the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Foundation (HJTEF) programs, among others.
The Guinness World Records presentation is scheduled to take place at 6:15 p.m. ET on March 3. The doubles match will be featured on ESPN3 at 7 p.m., followed by the singles match on ESPN2 at 9 p.m. The BNP Paribas Showdown is a production of StarGames and MSG Sports. Tickets are on sale now at the Madison Square Garden box office, online at www.thegarden.com
and all Ticketmaster outlets.
To find a Tennis Play Event and information how families can get involved, visit youthtennis.com