Pittsburgh Junior Hangs with the Pros

Christina Walton officially has pro tennis experience.

IMG_4075But not in the way you might think.

A junior player from Pittsburgh who competes in Junior Team Tennis and junior tournaments, Walton was a ballkid during last month’s Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

For Walton, it was a long time coming.

“I have been wanting to be a ballkid since last summer, but it was too late to sign up and I did not meet the age requirement (at the time),” Walton said. “I was disappointed, but I wanted to try out this year. This June I went to tryouts in Cincinnati, and got in.”

Walton, who began playing tennis at 7 at Oxford Athletic Club, had some experience. Living in Pittsburgh, she worked as a ballkid at the Mt. Lebanon Futures of Pittsburgh, an annual USTA Pro Circuit event.

“That really helped me know what to do at the Cincinnati tournament,” Walton said.

The experience lived up to her expectations, as well.

“It was really amazing to be on court with the professionals, because it is my dream to be on tour,” she said. “It was also great to be there and watch all of the matches that I didn’t work. It’s like a free pass to a great event.”

For more info on junior tennis in Middle States, click here. For information about volunteer opportunities, email NetPLAY@ms.usta.com.

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