2014 Top 10 Moments: USTA Play Day sets Guinness World Record

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December 16, 2014 10:04 AM

By McCarton Ackerman, USTA.com

Sixty-seven countries across the globe hosted special events in honor of World Tennis Day, but the USTA went the extra mile by setting a Guinness World Record for the “Largest Tennis Lesson."

The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., hosted the historic moment on March 2, which attracted 406 children from local youth organizations in the New York area to the home of the US Open for their first lesson. One day after the event, the USTA recognized the new record in a special on-court presentation before the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden.

All 12 indoor courts at the National Tennis Center were decorated with flags and filled with instructors leading high-energy drills and games. Many of the kids who took part in the event were already making plans to get back on a court again as they left.

“It was a special way to kick-off the thousands of USTA Play Events through the country in March, as well as being part of a record-setting event,” said Dave Haggerty, Chairman, CEO and President of the USTA. “Your first experience is very important, and these events are an opportunity to get involved in the sport.”

Joining the festivities at the world’s largest tennis lesson was Judy Murray, the mother of 2012 US Open champion Andy Murray. The current British Fed Cup captain helped out with the lessons on site and encouraged all the children and families present to keep participating in the sport.

“Today was a fantastic event and I am delighted to be a part of it,” she said. “Anything with getting children involved by playing tennis is great. Tennis is a sport for life – it is a sport you can play with your family and friends, as well as being active."

Since 2009, the USTA has led the charge in using 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 the initiative.

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To view all top 10 stories from 2014, visit the Year in Review homepage.

 

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