Those of you who have been around the Tennis World a while will certainly know who Monica Seles and Gabriela Sabatini are – the two of them made a huge splash in the late 80s and 90s and into the early 2000s. Madison Square Garden just announced that they will be playing each other as part of the 2015 BNP Paribas Showdown on March 10th (Roger Federer will be playing Grigor Dimitrov, too). If you’re going to be in the New York area on that day, I highly encourage you to take your junior player and see these incredible legends compete in what is arguably the best sports venue in the world!
Tickets start at $50.00 and are currently on sale. They can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden box office, online at www.thegarden.com and at all Ticketmaster outlets.
The BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden will once again headline a full day of international activities as part of “World Tennis Day,” a global tennis participation effort. All events promote tailoring the game to players 10-and-under with smaller racquets, lighter balls, and modified scoring as well as more play and a healthy lifestyle.
I recently had the opportunity to be on a conference call with Monica Seles as she talked about her excitement over the World Tennis Day event as well as her predictions for the upcoming Australian Open. Of course, I couldn’t forego the opportunity to ask her about her own Tennis Parents! Here’s what she had to say . . .
I had one tennis parent and that was my dad. My mom never played tennis in her entire life she was opposite of my dad….I think it was really good because I got a great balance. If I wanted to do sports I was with my dad and when I got home there was no talk of tennis or any sports. That way I got a dose of normalcy….. With my dad early on he wanted me to try different sports. For a while I liked ice skating but really didn’t stick with it. Tennis became something I enjoyed to play. Back in my former country, unfortunately young girls really didn’t play tennis and there were only four tennis courts. I had no capability to play tennis with my dad until I was seven or eight years old. That is why I started in front of my building with string pulled between two cars and then sneak on, once in a blue moon, on weekends with my dad for 15 minutes on the court. For me, it was something I really enjoyed being with my dad, it was fun learning. My dad was a cartoonist and my favorite cartoon back then was Tom and Jerry. He would draw Jerry on the tennis ball and say “Monica you’re Tom now hit that ball on the rise” and that’s where I learned how to hit the ball on the rise. He really made it, for me a game and fun and I’m very thankful for that. As a kid I didn’t realize how lucky I was to have parents like that who never pushed me but made it fun for me. That is why I think I have such a good and healthy relationship with the sport.
So, mark your calendar for March 10th and take your family to see Monica, Gabriela, Roger, and Grigor. It’s sure to be an experience your young player(s) won’t soon forget!