MT. KISCO, N.Y. – For the second consecutive year, legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri and Disney singer Tiffany Giardina will headline TennisFest at the Saw Mill Club in Mt. Kisco on Sunday, May 20.
The United States Professional Tennis Association’s Eastern Division organizes the free event, which will run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and participants can receive free tennis lessons. Bollettieri will speak and the 18-year-old Giardina, who is from the New York City area, will perform.
“They enjoyed themselves so much that they’re coming back. And they’re doing this on gratis, also,” said Bill Mecca, executive director of the USPTA Eastern Division.
Certified instructors will lead lessons, while young players can take part in USTA 10 and Under Tennis activities. Tournaments, workouts and games for young and old will also be part of the festivities.
“We are very excited to bring TennisFest back this year,” Mecca said. “It is a great way to showcase all of the ways families can enjoy the sport, from private lessons and clinics to tournaments and leagues. We are also pleased to welcome back Disney singing sensation Tiffany and Nick Bollettieri, the dean of American tennis coaches, who along with other master professionals will be working with attendees to improve their games.”
Mecca said the USPTA Eastern Division decided it wanted to give back to both the tennis community and non-tennis players while building a tennis program for its members. Thus, TennisFest was born.
“(We said) ‘Let’s have just a day of tennis, a huge tennis festival as much as we can make it,’” Mecca said.
Last year, the festivities drew 40 pro volunteers and 750 participants, many of them from New York City, New Jersey and upstate New York. The USPTA Eastern Division paid for the buses that transported the participants and will do the same this year.
Mecca said many locals in the Westchester area did not attend last year because it poured rain on the day of the TennisFest and most people assumed the event was cancelled. In actuality, the organizations that ran the event moved it from the eight outdoor courts at the Saw Mill Club to the five indoor courts.
Approximately one-and-a-half of those courts were unusable because a stage was built for Giardina’s performance, so the event became somewhat crowded, but Mecca said the attendees still enjoyed the day.
This year, Mecca said he hopes to double the attendance. Twice as many buses are scheduled to shuttle people to the event, and Horace Greeley High School’s tennis team has volunteered to lead classes this year. Girl Scouts will also run face-painting stations.
Other TennisFests this year will be held in Syracuse, Albany, Long Island and New Jersey.
More information on the event can be found here.
Information from a press release by USPTA Eastern was used in this report.