Bianca Andreescu and Other WTA Stars Talk About Helping Underserved Children in South Side Chicago

Published 12/28/2021, 8:30 AM EST


American coach Kamau founded the XS Tennis and Education Foundation to provide Chicago’s underserved youth a safe and positive way into college. Moreover, along the way, they would interact with members of the tennis community, including Bianca Andreescu, Kim Clijsters, and Danielle Collins.

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Kamau Murray himself grew up on the south side of Chicago. In fact, his years there informed his decision to start the tennis academy in the same place. According to Murray, watching great basketball players made kids his age want to pursue basketball. Thus, he attempted to emulate that thought process to kids in terms of tennis, as well.

Bianca Andreescu visited Chicago for the first time for XS Tennis

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In a short documentary about the academy, Bianca Andreescu and other WTA stars talk about their experience.

Firstly, Bianca shared how incredible it felt to be traveling in the service of tennis. “It’s an incredible feeling being able to travel for your sport,” she expressed.

Then, she shared how she gained the support of a lot of people across the world as she traveled the world to play tennis.

“Having that support from other nations, not just Canada or Romania, it changes the whole thing,” Bianca shared. “That’s what my sport is all about, just having that backlash (support) from other people means so much to me.”

She expressed how she looked forward to seeing the ball kids from the XS Tennis academy in the future, in her own matches.

Moreover, apart from former World No. 4 Bianca Andreescu, other big names from tennis graced the academy as well. Namely, Belgian former World No. 1 Kim Clijsters, along with former World No. 7 Madison Keys showed up to play with the children of South Side Chicago as well.

Furthermore, even American tennis star Danielle Collins was there to train and play around with the children.

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Bianca Andreescu wasn’t the only Grand Slam champion to visit the academy. In fact, 4-time Grand Slam champion Kim Clijsters, too, was there. She first talked about the city of Chicago. “This is my first time ever in Chicago,” she shared.

WTA stars talk about Chicago and the XS Tennis Academy

Clijsters also talked about the experience of the academy and have the courts and seats very close by. “I think you get a lot closer to the tennis players which is when I was younger what I loved doing,” Clijsters shared.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 19: Kim Clijsters of Belgium smiles during the mixed doubles match between John McEnroe of the United States and his partner Kim Clijsters of Belgium and Martina Navratilova of the United States and Jamie Murray of Great Britain during the Wimbledon No. 1 Court Celebration in support of the Wimbledon Foundation at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on May 19, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Former World No. 7 Madison Keys talked about her support for the idea of XS. “From the day that Kamau started talking about XS, I was completely behind it. Hopefully, he becomes the foundation for many facilities like this,” Keys stated.

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Danielle Collins, too, spoke about the importance of tennis itself. “One of the most special things about tennis is the people you get to meet along the way,” Collins said. She then said that the children of Chicago had just as positive of an impact on her as she had on them.

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Hopefully, in the next few years, South Side Chicago has a lot of champions in tennis who grow up and take the idea of community tennis forward.

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Samarveer Singh

251 articles

Samarveer Singh is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. Holding a degree in English Literature and a diploma in Fitness Sciences and Training, Samarveer is obsessed with tennis and basketball. He is also an automotive writer at HotCars.

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