in the Spotlight at US Open
USTA Adaptive Tennis Committee | October 1, 2019
Twenty-four Abilities Tennis of North Carolina athletes from all over the state took their tennis act on the road to perform on the world’s largest tennis stage–Arthur Ashe Stadium at the US Open in New York–this summer.
The athletes, their families and coaches–a total of 60 people–raised $37,000 to cover expenses, chartered a bus for the trip, and stayed at the Grand Hyatt in midtown Manhattan.
Once in New York, it was prime time for the athletes when they drew the 7 p.m. match between world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Juan Ignacio Londero.
This was the first time an adaptive tennis program kicked off a night match, and though it was raining, the show went on as scheduled under the Ashe roof.
“We enjoyed sharing the fun of being in NYC and at the US Open with our tennis friends,” said Debbie Ratliff. ADVERTISEMENT “The athletes were proud to walk through the tunnel and show off their tennis skills. It was truly a proud moment for us parents as well.”
Thirteen-year-old Brogan DeBuhr of Raleigh (pictured, above) had the honor of tossing the coin for the match.
Lou Welch, Executive Director of Abilities Tennis, added: “We made some great memories, and we hope to return again one day.”