Courtesy of Caroline Kilday/University of Nebraska-Lincoln
There’s no busier time in professional tennis than the summer months. Between Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, and World Team Tennis, it’s the most important time for players to train and compete.
That isn’t stopping tennis star Andy Roddick from giving back to the community.
This past weekend, the top-ranked American men’s player traveled to Lincoln, Nebraska to run a tennis clinic for athletes competing in the 2010 Special Olympics.
SIKIDS.com had a chance to catch up with Roddick before he took to the court. Check out what he had to say…
SIKIDS.com: How did you get involved with volunteering for the Special Olympics?
Andy: Well, a lot of credit goes to my wife, Brook. She’s been very involved with the Special Olympics in North Carolina. And I think that, coupled with the fact it’s being held in Nebraska, where I was born, they asked me to be involved. For me it was a no-brainer. I’m really looking forward to it.
SIKIDS.com: Is it extra special that the Special Olympics are being held in your hometown?
Andy: There’s no doubt. It was kind of like the perfect storm coming together as far as my involvement, and Brook already being involved, and it being in Nebraska, and actually being started on a weekend I actually had open. So I’m really excited that it all worked out.
SIKIDS.com: What do you think it will mean to you when you see these athletes’ faces light up during the tennis clinics?
Andy: I think I’m probably looking forward to it more than they are. It’ll be a blast, and if they get something out of it that’s what we’re looking for. With the clinic, it’s just about getting involved, playing with the kids and trying to get them excited about tennis and get them ready for the upcoming competition.
SIKIDS.com: Your wife, Brooklyn Decker, is a co-emcee for the opening ceremonies. How rewarding is it for the two of you to have a role in the Special Olympics?
Andy: It’s really special for us. There aren’t many times where our worlds kind of come together and we can do stuff like this together. We’re both looking forward to it and it’s cool that we can do it together.