Ivanovic & Harper Share Stories In Stanford

Ana Ivanovic and former WTA player Peanut Harper met with children at Kepler's Books in Stanford.

Published July 26, 2011 12:00

Ivanovic & Harper Share Stories In Stanford
Ana Ivanovic

STANFORD, CA, USA - One former WTA star and one current WTA star gave some young tennis fans a reading to remember on Sunday afternoon, as Peanut Harper and Ana Ivanovic shared the award-winning children's story Inch And Miles: The Journey To Success with young children at Kepler's Books.

Written by Harper and legendary basketball coach John Wooden, the story follows Inch and Miles, who embark on a journey to discover the Pyramid Of Success and learn how to achieve their personal best along the way. Through the characters' experiences, Wooden and Harper illustrate important values.

"Kids can inspire us as much as we can inspire them," Ivanovic said. "I played tennis because of Monica Seles, so I know we can help inspire people. If I can influence any kid to start playing sports, I'm happy and honored to do that."

Ivanovic also commented on some of the values in the book. "It's important to have every single thing in place - determination, a good team around you, self-control, confidence and a hard work ethic. It can push you to the top."

This is Ivanovic's second time playing Stanford, having reached the second round last year. "I'm really happy to be back here," the 24-year-old said. "I like Palo Alto a lot. They have good facilities here and the Tournament Director, Kim, is doing a good job. I hope I can keep coming back for years to come."

The reading was partnered with the Bank of the West Classic's Family Day, where children aged 6 to 11 can put into practice important life skills via interactive tennis games and drills at the Inch And Miles Sportsmanship Festival. It was hosted on the Saturday by Harper for Kids foundation, which was started by Harper and her husband (visit www.harperforkids.org).

Harper's WTA career spanned 16 years from 1976 to 1992. She won four WTA titles and reached a career-high ranking of No.19 in 1985.

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