Katrina Adams first African-American & Youngest Person to Head U.S. Tennis Association

Tennis champions Venus Williams, left, and Serena Williams, right, pose for photographers with Katrina Adams, incoming chairman of the USTA, during a renovation gala at the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center, Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Tennis champions Venus Williams, left, and Serena Williams, right, pose for photographers with Katrina Adams, incoming chairman of the USTA, during a renovation gala at the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center, Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Former professional tennis player Katrina Adams is the first African-American and the youngest person to ever head the U.S. Tennis Association – a position for which she is a volunteer. That’s right, she’s unpaid. Why do it then?

“It’s for the pure love of the game and the passion that we have to want to make a difference,” she told Here & Now’s Robin Young.

Adams is not just focused on developing the next batch of top U.S. talent, however. She also is working on developing ways to make the game more appealing for some of tennis’ youngest and oldest players.

“The biggest challenge is just getting people in the game and keeping them in the game,” she said.

“We are a traditional sport in an innovative society.”

– Katrina Adams
“We have a tendency to really start to lose some of our super seniors, some of our 70-plus, over time just because of physical ailments, and we are trying to create opportunities for them to stay in the game much longer. We have our 36-by-60-foot courts that we use for 10-and-under tennis, for the introduction of tennis. We’re encouraging those older players, those senior players, to use those courts with the lower compression balls.

“They can still go out and play normal tennis on a smaller area of a court… so that’s one way of keeping them in the game.”

Click here to read article in its entirety at Here&Now.

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