Scottsdale Hospital Visit
February 26, 2003
Kim Clijsters and her fellow pros may have played the most meaningful match of the month in Phoenix Monday. There was no live television coverage, no ranking points on the line and not a single participant was playing for the purpose of cashing a champion's check.
Yet for those who were there to witness it, the match produced a priceless reward: pure joy at participating in an uplifting event. Clijsters and fellow WTA Tour pros Nannie de Villiers, Jessica Steck, Ansley Cargill and Gabriela Lastra teamed up to bring smiles, joy and much needed laughter to children at the Phoenix Children's Hospital.
'It really makes you realize what's important in life,' Clijsters said at the hospital. 'The health of your family and friends is so precious.'
As part of an effort to bridge the gap between players and the community, the WTA Tour has reestablished its 'FIRST Serve' program. The activities vary from school visits to the more charitable endeavors such as the player participation seen at the Phoenix Children's Hospital.
Every event on the WTA Tour has its own unique request list for the players to choose from. The tournament sponsors make up each event's wish list and the presence of the pros pleased the patients in the Children's Hospital.
According 13-year-old patient Dennis (who prior to yesterday's event had never even picked up a racquet): 'It was awesome! I might even go out for the high school tennis team. I was just as good as the pros today.'
A man may fight for many things. His country, his friends, his principles, the glistening ear on the cheek of a golden child. But personally, I'd mud-wrestle my own mother for a ton of cash, an amusing clock and a sack of French porn.