By Ian Bush
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – She has 11 grand slam titles to her name – as many as Rafael Nadal. But this Wayne native was on the tennis court in North Philly Wednesday afternoon with some kids who are new to the game. Here’s KYW’s Ian Bush.
Lisa Raymond’s first job is to keep these 5 to 10-year-olds from swinging for the fences.
“They think it’s like a baseball bat. And their adrenaline – they’re so excited to get the racquet in their hand,” said Raymond.
The former world No. 1 doubles player, working with kids from the People for People Charter School – like fourth-grader Suniyah.
“I don’t think I’ll be as good as her, but I try my best,” said Suniyah.
It’s part of a push by Down the Line and Beyond to get more city kids interested in tennis. Jennifer Litchman with the non-profit is running the once-a-week clinics for the school here at the Althea Gibson Community Education and Tennis Center at 11th Street and Girard Avenue.
“Gives them a structured environment and we’re also hoping to find a few talented tennis players out of this group,” said Litchman.
Maybe one day to take on Raymond and the Philadelphia Freedoms.
“Kid-friendly courts, kid-friendly racquets, balls – it’s awesome. Being able to get the kids out here and get them involved in tennis at a young age is great,” said Raymond.