NEW YORK, NY, US - Players spanning several generations gathered at the US Open earlier this month for the 20th annual Billie Jean Power Hour, a WTA Player Development Mentoring activity.
The theme of this year’s activity was "Our Legacy, Our Future", used to explain to younger generations how the WTA was founded while also inspiring them to shape the future for themselves and generations to follow.
Under the guidance of the 12-time Grand Slam winner Billie Jean King, mentors provided expert advice to younger players on how they can reach their full potential and positively impact the growth of our sport.
As well as Billie Jean, Leslie Allen, Elise Burgin, Rosie Casals, Alina Jidkova, Elena Likhovtseva, Louise Pleming, and Chanda Rubin also shared their experience and knowledge during the meeting.
Billie Jean shared her perspective on three keys to success: building enduring professional relationships; understanding the business of tennis; and continuing to learn and solve problems every single day.
Emphasizing her message "The more you know about history, the more you know about yourself", Billie Jean explained that the 'Original 9' [players who joined the WTA] shared a dream for players around the world to have a place to compete; to be recognized as professional athletes; and to have financial security at the end of their playing careers.
Players walked away understanding that they have the power to continue to grow the business of tennis. The WTA is a team that works together and continues to make a difference.
Current players attending the event included Ekaterina Alexandrova, Hailey Baptiste, Misaki Doi, Caroline Dolehide, Abigail Forbes, Taylor Johnston, Lyudmila Kichenok, Nadiia Kichenok, Barbora Krejcikova, Veronika Kudermetova, Kurumi Nara, Demi Schuurs, Anna Smith, Sara Sorribes, Natasha Subhash, Galina Voskoboeva and Zhaoxuan Yang.
After the meeting, players expressed their appreciation
“Thanks for this opportunity to hear the history from the greatest and how the WTA started. I now appreciate even more the efforts you guys are making at [the] WTA to make it possible for us to play and to make a living doing what we love. It was a lot of fun also!” said Kichenok.
“Thank you very much for having me at the power hour, it was an absolute honor meeting all of the legends who helped create the amazing tour we are lucky enough to be playing on. I definitely left feeling inspired,” said Smith.