The WTA Foundation’s community outreach program, WTA Come Play presented by Morgan Stanley, made its way to the United Kingdom this week, bringing the sport of tennis to the local community. The initiative, which started in 2018, utilizes tennis to positively impact communities by encouraging youth of all ages and abilities, with a focus on girls, to lead healthy and productive lives on and off the court.

With a shared vision for expanding access to the game of tennis, WTA Foundation and Morgan Stanley were proud to join the Elena Baltacha Foundation and the Murray Play Foundation for a special event in London ahead of Wimbledon.

On Friday, June 28, the organizations brought 50-plus girls from local London communities as well as from the Elena Baltacha Foundation in Ipswich to the National Tennis Center in Roehampton for an immersive tennis clinic embracing a shared vision for developing leadership through tennis and extending access to the sport for all backgrounds and skills. Former World No.4 and 2017 Wimbledon semifinalist Johanna Konta joined Billie Jean King Cup Captain Judy Murray to inspire the next generation of young girls alongside active WTA players Heather Watson and Danielle Collins.

The Elena Baltacha Foundation honors the memory of the late former British No.1 player by finding a way for all children to play tennis. “The Elena Baltacha Foundation was started when Elena decided to give back to young children, from all backgrounds,” said Nino Severino, Baltacha’s husband and founder of the Elena Baltacha Foundation.  “Every time we flew back from travelling, she would go into schools to motivate, inspire and start to feed the seed of a dream for young girls.”

The Foundation has helped a number of young tennis players with one such success story living on in 22-year-old Macy Hendin-Walker who caught the eye of Baltacha while she was coaching at her Tennis Academy. Through the help of the Foundation, networking and sheer determination, Macy has achieved her dream as she is currently playing tennis at an American college returning regularly to the UK to continue Baltacha’s legacy by helping with the Foundation. Macy continues making strides in the tennis industry as she recently volunteered with the WTA Operations team at the Credit One Charleston Open in April after making lifelong connections at last year’s Come Play event.

“Growing up not knowing much about tennis, I didn’t know what it could teach me,” Hendin-Walker said. “It’s taught me so much about leadership, integrity and being honest about life on and off the court.”

The London event was a continuation of a yearlong program that will see the WTA Come Play presented by Morgan Stanley program brought to communities worldwide to engage people of all ages and abilities and provide access and opportunity through tennis. The first activations of the 2024 program took place in Melbourne and San Diego.

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