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Davis Cuppers Play Big-Time Tennis With Junior Players

March 4, 2009 05:12 PM

It looks like a big racquet but it’s a demonstration of the theory behind the USTA’s great new format for kids: QuickStart.

America’s top players – the Davis Cup team members Andy Roddick, James Blake, Bob and Mike Bryan – were game to hit tennis balls with a four-foot racquet in Birmingham, Ala. The super-size stick demonstrates to adults what it’s like for a youngster to hit tennis balls with an adult racquet.

The QuickStart format of USTA Jr. Team Tennis uses smaller-than-normal racquets, courts and nets to make it easier for kids to learn the game of tennis. The balls used by 6- to 8-year-olds are even bigger and softer than the regulation balls to help children keep the ball in play.

The four pro players plus Captain Patrick McEnroe drew a crowd of at least 45 kids at the Highland Park Tennis Center Tuesday. They are in Birmingham for the first-round Davis Cup match vs. Switzerland March 6-8. The tie will be played in the 16,000-capacity Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex Arena. The matches were sold out quickly, promising a strong home-court advantage for the American contingent. The U.S. has now sold out the last four ties it has hosted, dating back to the 2007 quarterfinals in Winston-Salem, N.C.




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