They all showed up to the courts at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing on Friday, August 26, to attempt to break a world record for “the most people to bounce a tennis ball on their racquet in one location.”
Part of the United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) round up of events during this year’s U.S. Open, the event was sponsored by Wilson and led by volunteers of the USTA Eastern branch.
Top-ranked American tennis player Mardy Fish and Germany’s Andrea Petkovic led the children and parents as they all attempted to break the record in 10 seconds – which they did with 658 people all bouncing tennis balls on their racquets.
This record tops one from the same challenge, which was held in England a few years back. There, 383 people participated.
Wilson Sporting Goods handed out free T-shirts, tennis balls and racquets to participants.
“It’s a chance to bring tennis to the community,” said Michelle Blake Wilson, a spokesperson for USTA Eastern. “It was a great way for the community to get involved.”
The participating children were no strangers to the game of tennis. Many of them were participants of the New York Junior Tennis League, a program, which provides after-school tennis practice to kids around the city.
“It was very exciting to break a world record,” said Zachary Breland, a 16-year-old NYJTL participant from Fresh Meadows.
Breland, along with his father and his three siblings all participated in breaking the record.
For William Barefield, 10, and his brother Timothy, 7, of Flushing, the event was “excellent.”
It’s their second time at the U.S. Open with their parents, William and Barbara. “We look forward to it; it’s a really fun event for all of us,” said Barbara Barefield.