Kiki Bertens and Raquel Atawo hit the court last week in Charleston for an adaptive tennis hitting session with the South Carolina Special Olympics athletes.
Stephanie Livaudais
April 12, 2018

CHARLESTON, SC, USA - Eventual Volvo Car Open champion Kiki Bertens and doubles star Raquel Atawo hit the court last week in Charleston for an adaptive tennis hitting session with South Carolina’s Special Olympics athletes.

The mission of adaptive tennis is to ensure that people of any age, environment, condition or ability are able to enjoy the sport of tennis, with appropriate equipment and adaptations. At the Volvo Car Open, Special Olympics athletes from the “Area 6” adaptive tennis program gave WTA stars a demonstration on how it works and how to play.

Related: Champions Corner: Bertens' love for clay comes through in Charleston

Raquel Atawo (Volvo Car Open)
Raquel Atawo hits with the Special Olympics athletes in Charleston. (Volvo Car Open)

“We don’t have disabilities, we have different abilities…,” Alyssa Balchar, who will compete in adaptive tennis at the Special Olympics National Games, told The Daniel Island News.

“We do things the same as everyone else. I have multiple disabilities and even though they get to me, I just have to accept, for me that’s who I am. It takes time.”

Kiki Bertens (Volvo Car Open)
Kiki Bertens (Volvo Car Open)
Kiki Bertens (Volvo Car Open)
Kiki Bertens hit with wheelchair tennis players. (Volvo Car Open)

Ann Austin, WTA Charities program administrator, added, “Our mission is to be involved in the communities that our tournaments are in from week to week. What is important to our tournaments is important to us. We want to support any community initiatives at each tournament that we go to.”

Related: Rogers named 'Player Who Makes a Difference' in Charleston

Kiki Bertens (Volvo Car Open)
The WTA stars and Special Olympics athletes pause for a photo. (Volvo Car Open)

WTA Charities is the WTA's global philanthropic organization dedicated to making a positive impact across the globe. Our mission is to be a social responsibility vehicle built on the WTA's values to empower and provide for a better future. We're dedicated to combining, strengthening and enhancing the community and charitable efforts of the WTA through its members (players, alumnae and tournaments), along with our partners.

Click here to see more WTA Charities activities!