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Meeting tennis legends Jim Courier and Andy Roddick

Jim Courier with Kidsday reporters, clockwise from middle

Jim Courier with Kidsday reporters, clockwise from middle left, Platonas Demosthenous, Daniel Guevara, Phoebe Falk and Ella Jacobs at NYCB Live in Uniondale Credit: Newsday/Pat Mullooly

On Saturday we went to the NYCB Live arena in Uniondale. We were invited to meet tennis legends Andy Roddick and Jim Courier. After going through security, we gathered and discussed the plans for the day. When we arrived at the Coliseum, we have to admit that we were nervous since we did not know what to expect.  We went downstairs and waited for our first guest to arrive, Jim Courier. After a while, we went into the press room where we were introduced to Courier and then interviewed him. There were other members of the press there, but we were able to talk to him alone.

Afterward, we chatted and waited until Andy Roddick was ready for us. When he was, we went into his locker room and did the interview. It was really cool getting to go behind the scenes and backstage. When we interviewed Andy, he was very specific when he answered our questions. Before we left, he even autographed our tennis balls which we brought along. Here are some of the questions we asked Jim and Andy:

Jim Courier won two French Opens and two Australian Opens in the 1990s. He retired from the ATP Tour in 2000, and has been a TV tennis analyst and commentator. We asked Jim how it felt to win the ATP Tournament in 1989?

He told us it felt amazing, especially because at that time he was young. It was especially memorable to him because it was his first tournament win.

Being such a big tennis star and admired all around the world, we wanted to know what it is like to be noticed in public. Jim said that it depends. He said if he was coming to a tennis event, then he is well known. But if he is walking down the streets of New York City, he can go a whole day without getting noticed. Sometimes people stop and say hello and ask him questions about tennis. He added that he didn’t mind that at all.

We wanted to know if he had a special diet before he goes out to play a match. He told us that he drinks water and eats a piece of grilled chicken. He doesn’t eat anything too heavy to slow him down during a match.

Finally, we wanted to know how he likes to spend his free time. Jim said that he likes playing tennis with his kids and his kids liked riding their scooters. So playing and being with his kids is very important to him.

Andy Roddick retired from tennis in 2012 after a great career. He won 32 singles titles and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2017. We asked him if he was surprised to get into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2017.  Andy said he was very surprised. He did not expect to be given such an honor. He told us even to this day it was a great feeling.

We wanted to know what his Plan B was if he didn’t become a tennis player. Andy thought that was a great question and one that he’s never really had the answer for. He told us that he was always interested in being around sports, so maybe the business side of it or the strength and conditioning side of sports. He said that as a kid he was also really interested in history, but he is so glad that he got into tennis.

We looked up that the first person Andy beat as a pro was Juan Carlos Fererro. We wanted to know how that felt. Andy was smiling and told us it felt great when he beat him because it was his first victory!

Overall, it was an incredible experience. All of us are thankful for getting the opportunity to personally meet and interview tennis legends Andy Roddick and Jim Courier. This was a moment we really enjoyed and will never forget.

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