NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The U.S. Open gets underway in August, but ballperson tryouts are much sooner than – in less than two weeks.
It’s not too late to apply, but do you have what it takes to pick up what the big names in tennis put down?READ MORE: Juneteenth Celebrations Across New York City Take On New Meaning In 2021
CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock hit the courts to find out what to expect at tryouts and see if she has the right stuff.
Official outfit, kicks on, she was just about ready to test her skills at mock U.S. Open ballperson tryouts.
But before she hit the clay at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center under the brutal sun, she asked the chosen ones — official ballpersons — for a little advice.
“Stay calm,” third-year ballperson David Lee, of Queens, said.
“Be quick. Try not to fall over,” third-year ballperson Charlotte Goldbaum, of Old Westbury, said.
“Best ballpeople are not noticed by anyone else,” second-year ballperson Camilla Trapness, of the Upper East Side, said.
“If you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself,” fourth-year ballperson Katelyn Villacres, of Queens said.
“Were you nervous your first time out?” Murdock asked.
“For sure,” second-year ballperson Tommy Butschi, of Chelsea, said.
Murdock says that made her feel a little better because the more she spoke to the chosen ones, the more nervous she got.
Then Tiahnne Noble, director of the ballperson program, gave Murdock a quick rundown of the tryout.READ MORE: Man Allegedly Armed With Taser, Large Knife Arrested At Washington Square Park
“I’m going to get you up on the net. We’re gonna see how you are picking up the balls from the net,” she explained.
Noble says speed and agility count big time.
Murdock says she felt like she was off to a pretty good start before a few stumbles, and her rolling needs some work, too.
But Murdock wasn’t done yet. She had to keep going, and her breathing was getting heavier.
“I’m exhausted,” Murdock said.
The next test was servicing the ball to the player. You receive it from the net and then throw or toss it to the player.
The toss should bounce up toward the player’s waist.
After a few goes, it was time for the verdict — would Murdock be invited onto the ballperson team?
“That’s a tough one,” Noble said.
Not an immediate no…
“Based on today, I would probably not invite you into the team just ’cause I think you can improve that stamina,” Noble said.
If you think you’d do better as a ballperson, you better move fast; the application deadline is next week.MORE NEWS: NYPD Detective Injured In 2017 Vehicular Attack Honored At Islanders Game
The U.S. Open is looking to fill 65 ballperson slots. Ages 16 and up are welcome to apply. Click here for more information.