Professional tennis players take on Maconites

If you were driving in downtown Macon Tuesday around noon, you might have noticed that Cherry Street was blocked off.

Tennis players from places like South Africa, Russia, and Venezuela swung by to play a game they love on our Macon streets.

Professional tennis players hit the street of downtown Macon for matches with anyone willing to pick up a racket. 23-year-old Kathleen Derienzo from New York says she travels around the world to play in tournaments like Macon's W.L. Amos Sr. Tennis Classic.

“Tennis is everything. It's more than just a sport,” says Derienzo. “I think I was on the tennis court when I was about three years old and I think I picked up my first racket when I was four. It was really early.”

She says that tennis has offered her the opportunity to go to school for free.

“Usually, you're practicing about 3 times a day, probably about 2 hours each, so I would say 6 hours a day, and that's not including going to the gym and working out. So it's a full time job, about 8 hours a day,” says Derienzo.

She says that she's trying to gather as many points so that she can play in the U.S Open, like her favorite player.

“Serena Williams -- she's great. She's the best tennis player to live, I think,” says Derienzo.“I was the ball girl for Serena Williams and she was great. She has such a presence on the court. I was really scared giving her the balls.”

This Women's Pro circuit tennis tournament has 32 singles players and 16 doubles teams.

Tennis matches start at 10 a.m. at Mercer University. The games are held all week long until Sunday at Mercer University and it's free to watch. 

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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