Foundation Children with Ryan Wolfington, Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan
By Hilliary Heard

A seven year tradition continues for's Marty Hennessy Jr. Tennis Foundation as the children get up close and personal with their favorite players at the BNP Paribas open. The tournament held in Indian Wells at the beautiful tennis garden offers a perfect playground for youth to learn life lessons from their tennis idols. Everyday is packed with loads of tennis, beautiful sunshine and courts that are easily assessable for viewing the top men and women players on tour.

"Nothing is better then professional tennis to motivate a player," said legendary coach and tennis dad Wayne Bryan. "I took Bob and Mike to Indian Wells more times than I can count."

Foundation Children with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
The first day walking in from the parking lot the children crossed paths with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who happily stopped to take a photo, offered words of encouragement and wished them well in their tennis endeavors. This is not an unusual at the BNP Paribas, the atmosphere fosters a friendly environment for both players and fans. The children are in awe standing face to face with their hero's witnessing excellence from the best in the game.

After meeting with Bob and Mike Bryan, the world's winningest doubles team, McKay Novak of the Hennessy Foundation said, "Bob and Mike both took time to casually talk to each and every one of us. I saw they were completely genuine about the words coming out of their mouths. It was Mike who took the time to talk to me about the healthy drink I was holding and about his healthy lifestyle and diet. It really impressed me."

The children soak in the experience learning different tennis styles and strategies. They are able to see the strengths of the professional players and incorporate that wisdom to produce growth in their own game.

"The pro's have reached a point of maturity where they are not upset if they don't win all the points. They just put it out of their mind and focus on the next point," said Hannah Tatlock

The attendance this year set a record of over 350,000 fans. It is a community of all ages celebrating and sharing one common passion, the game of tennis!

"BNP Paribas is one of the best tournaments in the world," explained USTA-Nevada Executive Director Ryan Wolfington. "It is extremely beautiful, like watching pro tennis at a country club."
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