June 24, 2024

Open Court


Roger and Rogers – from ballkids to … champions?

Charleston, S.C. native Shelby Rogers joked this week that every year, when she returns to the Volvo Car Open, they pull this epic archival photo out.


This year, the ball-girl has made good. She defeated Venus Williams and has reached the quarter-finals of the Premier event. Rogers will play No. 11 seed Mirjana Lucic-Baroni Friday for an opportunity to make the final four.

Rogers is hardly the only professional tennis player who first got on the big courts as a ballkid. But her success this week reminded us of perhaps the most famous one of all – Roger Federer who, long before he became ROGER FEDERER, hit the court at the ATP Tour stop in his hometown of Basel, Switzerland.

Here he is, all the way back in 1993 when he was 12 years old, receiving his commemorative medal from the champion that year, Germany’s Michael Stich.

Federer has gone on to win the tournament seven times.

Will Roger’s local luck rub off on .. Rogers? We’ll see in the next few days.

The only thing you hope is that when they hit the big-time, the former ballkids remember how the big stars treated them on-court and vow to model themselves after then (if they were kind) or to not repeat their mistakes (if they were less than kind).

And, you never know, this little girl might be the next Shelby Rogers. 🙂


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