NEW HAVEN, CT, USA - Latino youth and families from New Haven got their first taste of tennis at the Connecticut Open - and received some world-class instruction from two great Latina players, Monica Puig and Gigi Fernandez at the tournament’s 15th annual Latino Day.
Both Puerto Ricans have clinched Olympic gold medals: Fernandez while representing the United States and Puig bringing euphoria to the island with their first ever gold medal at the 2016 Rio Games.
The pair had plenty of tips to share with the lucky kids in New Haven, many of whom were picking up a tennis racquet for the first time.
"You have to play every day, as much as possible - but you have to have to do it because you love it, you have to have a passion," Fernandez told kids.
Puig and Fernandez were joined on court by Carlos Martinez and Roberto Antonini, both Gold-level coaches and part of the WTA’s Coaches Program. They ran through fun drills and exercises to help the kids learn how to hit a tennis ball and play rallies.
“It was so nice to see so many kids out here playing tennis,” Puig enthused afterwards. “It’s so nice that we’re promoting our sport this way, and I hope that many more kids can go and play tennis and watch us play.”
In addition to rubbing elbows with the stars, the Connecticut Open Latino Day also included a mentoring session for Latino youth and families, as well as lunch and a day at the tennis.
And earlier in the week, Danielle Collins and Maria Sakkari hit the court for the Connecticut Open Kid’s Day. They were joined by Izo Zunic and Mark Gellard, both Gold-level coaches in the WTA’s Coaches Program.
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