Competing tirelessly week-after-week on tennis courts around the world, professional players firmly engage in some of their sport’s toughest tournaments, earning points for title and rank. Some of those matches even happen in our own valley. But what most people don’t necessarily notice is that there’s more to the sport than just the game itself. There are many others on the court, such as ball people who help keep the game moving efficiently.
Last year, the Paseo Club hosted the Men’s Pro Tennis Championships and the tennis director needed ball handlers. Not knowing how being a ball girl would benefit me, I signed up with the goal of having the best seat in the house and watching professional tennis in-person on my home courts.
As we went over the rules regarding when to move balls, the professionals warmed up their shots. After being given matching red t-shirts to support the Pro Circuit, we pulled on our uniforms and headed to assigned courts. It was tough to concentrate. My attention kept wandering to the players. Their shots were absolutely stupendous. It’s funny that something as simple as picking up a ball can be as nerve-wracking as a math exam.
After every point, I returned to my corner to watch the next serve. I was picking up any ball that caught my eye. There were many balls that flew toward my head moving at more than 100-miles-per-hour. Being on the court was indescribable. Seeing these players made me, as a tennis player, want to play even harder, to strive to reach their level of excellence.
Being a ball girl for this tournament was not only a great opportunity, but a learning experience. It taught me that ordinary people like me can reach their goals with practice and desire. Not many people get to participate in a professional tournament. Because it’s such a fascinating look at the game from a unique perspective, I plan to participate again during this year’s Men’s Pro Tennis Championships of Santa Clarita. The tournament will be held at The Paseo Club from April 7 through April 15.
For additional information regarding this professional tennis event and how to purchase tickets, please contact Brad Sceney, director of tennis at 661-257-0044.