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Ball Boy Brings Open Experience from New York to Nationals

October 28, 2011 04:09 PM
Lars Kristiansen served as a ball boy at the 2011 US Open for Novak Djokovic - now, he looks to follow Djokovic's lead and take a national title in Surprise.
By Kyle Kuhnel, special to USTA.com

- New York City. Tennis nirvana. The US Open.

Its a dream scenario to step foot on the grounds at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows and take part in the spectacle; to be among the sport’s best players, taking to the courts to capture the season’s final major. 
For one Jr. Team Tennis participant, the 2011 Open meant an opportunity to share the spotlight with two of the sport’s most high profile players.

Lars Kristiansen, a member of the YMT Tennis Intermediate team representing USTA Middle States, can say he was part of a US Open primetime showdown: His journey started at the annual 2010 US Open Ballperson Tryouts two Opens ago, along with over 500 other prospects competing for the chance to work the US Open as a ball boy. 

On September 1st,  Kristiansen, who hails from New Hope, Pa. hit the jackpot when he learned that he would be a ball boy for both No. 1 seeds, Caroline Wozniacki and Novak Djokovic, for the night session inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.

His opening match of the evening featured Wozniacki versus Arantxa Rus, followed by Djokovic against Carlos Berloq.  Both favorites advanced and Lars couldn’t believe how lucky he was to be there, primetime, witnessing it up close and personal.

"I just stood there and thought to myself, oh my gosh that’s Caroline Wozniacki.," said Kristiansen. "It’s was a great experience to see the incredible focus the pros have during a match, and their skills on the court are amazing.

"It’s funny, I thought I would be nervous working Arthur Ashe Stadium for the two best players in the world, but as strange as it sounds, I was more relaxed.  When you work the outside courts, there is much less space to move around and your throws have to be right on target."

Hopefully some of what Lars experienced during the US Open will translate to success on the courts this week at the Jr. Team Tennis 18 & Under National Championships.

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