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Coco Gauff joins USTA to unveil refurbished Pompey Park tennis courts

Before Coco Gauff hits the courts at the Miami Open this week, the Delray Beach native took time to visit Pompey Park in her hometown on Tuesday. She made the trek from Miami to Delray Beach to unveil two public courts recently refurbished as part of the US Open Legacy Initiative.  

The initiative was created in celebration of Gauff’s 2023 US Open women’s singles title. As part of the initiative, the USTA pledged $3 million to refurbish tennis courts all across the country.  

Above: The refurbished tennis courts at Pompey Park. Photo credit: Manuela Davies / USTA.

The courts in Delray Beach represent the first major project completed as part of the initiative. The location was hand-picked by Gauff who grew up playing tennis on the park’s public courts. She even sports the geographic coordinates of Pompey Park on her signature tennis sneaker from New Balance.

Gauff spoke to a star-struck crowd at Pompey Park. “Investing in public parks and our youth is very important,’’ Gauff explained. “They look great,” Gauff said of the refurbished courts.” She added, “I hope a lot of people can take advantage of these courts.” After all, she explained, “I spent hours with my dad on these courts.’’

Above: Kids from the Delray Beach Youth Tennis Foundation take part in a clinic with Coco Gauff. Photo credit: Manuela Davies / USTA.

After her speech, Gauff tested out the newly-refurbished courts with some kids. She conducted a fun mini-tennis clinic with a group of local kids from the Delray Beach Tennis Foundation. The Foundation’s Director of Tennis Stefan Konowalskyj told Florida Tennis, “The impact, inspiration and memories our kids will carry with them for the rest of their lives is priceless.”

USTA Florida Executive Director Laura Bowen told Florida Tennis, “Advocating and supporting public parks in Florida is the most important thing we can do as an organization to grow tennis and serve local communities.  The revitalized tennis courts at Pompey Park are a shining example of how public tennis center investment creates a space where everyone can play and thrive.  We celebrate and thank the Gauff family for your leadership in bringing this project to life and for reminding us that grassroots tennis programs remain at the heart of everything we do.”

Above: Kids having some fun and dreaming big in a clinic with Coco Gauff. Photo credit: Manuela Davies / USTA.

The kids got T-shirts from Gauff with the slogan “Dream Big,” to follow in their hero’s footsteps. “It says dream big. It’s my life motto pretty much, and I hope every kid can use that motto to follow their dream,” Gauff explained.

Gauff was joined at the Pompey Park unveiling event by high-profile speakers including Shelly Petrolia, Mayor, City of Delray Beach; Dr. Brian Hainline, President and Chairman of the Board, USTA; Lew Sherr, CEO, USTA; Stacey Allaster, Chief Executive, Professional Tennis, USTA and US Open Tournament Director. 

Above: Coco Gauff with USTA Executives Martin Blackman, Stacey Allaster, Dr. Brian Hainline, Lew Sherr and Craig Morris during the event. Photo credit: Manuela Davies / USTA.

“All of us involved in tennis are aware of our sport’s life-enhancing benefits, and we are committed to protecting courts and partnering with others to spur new facility development which will ensure more access for more people in more communities,” said Dr. Brian Hainline, Chairman of the Board and President, USTA. “The US Open is the economic driver that allows us to invest in tennis’ grass roots, so linking the US Open with this powerful and impactful initiative is an altogether fitting way to complete the circle for the good of the game.” 

Hainline cited two studies with compelling evidence that tennis is the world’s healthiest sport. He has high hopes these freshly refurbished courts will get more kids in Delray Beach to play the game of tennis.

Will Pompey Park create another Coco Gauff? One thing is for sure — these refurbished courts will help increase the odds.

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