As part of the festivities to celebrate the International Tennis Federation’s 100th birthday, the ITF will launch the inaugural World Tennis Day today.
World Tennis Day will revolve around a series of high profile exhibition events around the world, including the well-established BNP Paribas Showdown in New York’s Madison Square Garden. Each of the events will feature current and former professionals together with demonstrations of the ITF’s Tennis10s program. The ITF program promotes the use of slower and lower bouncing balls, shorter and lighter rackets and smaller courts to make it easier for children to take up the game.
The ITF will also be encouraging its 210 National Associations to support World Tennis Day with their own grassroots and club activities to attract new participants to the sport.
The United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) Tennis Night in America will cap off World Tennis Day with a series of matches to be played under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden in New York. Besides this national event, the USTA is encouraging clubs to open their doors this month and invite families to pick up the game. Over 2,200 clubs in the United States took part in this initiative in 2012.
Several other National Associations have already pledged their support to join the USTA in World Tennis Day activities in 2013, including Davis Cup finalists Czech Republic and Spain, plus Argentina, Brazil, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, Norway, Portugal and South Africa.
“We look forward to World Tennis Day as a way to put a spotlight on tennis participation,” said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti. “The very successful Tennis Night in America, staged by the USTA in association with StarGames, is an example of how special events and participation activities can be combined successfully. We look forward to events around the world over the next few years, and to see our 210 member national associations get behind World Tennis Day with activities in their own countries on that day.”
How are you celebrating World Tennis Day?