AMBASSADOR SHARES EXPERIENCE AT
WORLD TENNIS DAY
Teddy Brodsky, USTA Play For Life Ambassador | March 10, 2017
Teddy Brodsky is one of five USTA Play For Life ambassadors invited to take part in World Tennis Day. The 16-year-old New York native was selected for being an active influencer on social media, encouraging and inspiring other children to play tennis. Teddy, pictured above courtside speaking with Nick Kyrgios, shares his thoughts on a whirlwind two-day experience.
In what was a thrilling night at Madison Square Garden for World Tennis Day, the world team – which included Nick Kyrgios, Garbiñe Muguruza, Kei Nishikori and Lleyton Hewitt – beat the Americas team of Venus Williams, Jack Sock, Juan Martin del Potro and Andy Roddick.
The 10th anniversary of the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden, an event that has hosted the likes of Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal, had a new format this year that made it a team event with six different events instead of two normal matches. ADVERTISEMENT This made the atmosphere at The Garden more festive and exciting because of the team event as well as the other players sitting on the court during the matches, cheering their teammates on.
Madison Square Garden was filled with energy from the start, and it got even more lively when Sock and Roddick teamed up to play doubles against Hewitt and Kyrgios. In a match filled with tweeners and other mind-boggling shots, the crowd continued to roar with delight at every point. They did not stop there as they continued to voice their approval during Roddick’s singles match against Hewitt and then the mixed doubles with Nishikori and Muguruza against Venus and del Potro.
One of the most exciting parts of the night came when two girls were subbed into the match between Venus and Muguruza in subsequent points. Kalli, 10 years old from California, subbed in for Venus and played two points against Muguruza. Then in the next point, Jessica, 11 years old from Illinois, subbed in for Muguruza and played two points against Venus. Next, in the following match between Kyrgios and Sock, two boys came on to the court to hit with the pros for a couple of minutes.
Another highlight of the night came in the beginning of the last match between del Potro and Nishikori. At the beginning of the match, the delPo supporters in the crowd began a chant to cheer for del Potro. The rest of the crowd joined in and eventually the entire Garden was chanting del Potro’s name as he smiled on in admiration.
As a USTA #PlayforLife youth ambassador, I had the opportunity to experience the lead-up to the event as well as the matches themselves from the closest possible perspective. For me, the events actually started the night before, as I went the the press conference/VIP party. This was an incredible experience as the other ambassadors and I were announced in front of the crowd and took a group picture with the players.
Then, I interviewed Roddick for about two minutes. I asked him what he was expecting for the matches. He responded by saying that he is nervous because he “is not as good of a tennis player as some of the other guys.” This was one of the most special parts of the whole experience as Roddick was always my favorite player, so to ask him a question and to just shake his hand was a moment that I will never forget.
The day started at 6:30 a.m. where I, along with the other youth ambassadors, had the opportunity to play on the court at Madison Square Garden as well as be on the morning NY1 news. Then, we were able to watch the players practice before the event from the court which allowed us to see just how intense the pros really are. Finally, during the event, the ambassadors and I sat on the court and talked with the players during the matches.
This was an experiences unlike any other as I had extended conversations with Kyrgios, Nishikori and Roddick where we talked about everything from tennis to favorite foods while their teammates were on the court playing. I felt like the luckiest person in the world sitting and talking with the top tennis players in the world, and I took in every minute of the amazing experience. I only hope that other people will get to have this same amazing experience in the future.
All in all, tennis’ annual celebration at Madison Square Garden for World Tennis Day was a success as everybody, fans and players alike, went home with a smile on their face and excitement for World Tennis Day 2018.
The six active players that participated will head to Palm Springs this week for Indian Wells, where they will all have a chance to take the title. They have each played very good tennis to start the season as Venus got to the Australian Open final, Sock has won two tournaments and del Potro has not lost to anybody outside the Top 5 since October. Hopefully these players’ exhibition at the Garden will serve as an effective warm-up for the first ATP Masters 1000 event of the year and the first WTA Premier Mandatory event of the year.