USTA SoCal celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with a Cultural Event in San Diego - USTA Southern California
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USTA SoCal celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with a Cultural Event in San Diego

To kick off our celebration of 2022 Hispanic Heritage Month, USTA Southern California hosted a Hispanic Heritage Month Cultural Event to celebrate the past, present, and future of Hispanic tennis. The event was hosted at a San Diego tennis mainstay in Barnes Tennis Center on September 17th, and featured a celebration of the rich diversity of Hispanic cultures in Southern California. The event included kid-zones, wheelchair and adaptive courts, adult and youth live-ball, music, food trucks, guest panelists, and more.

The event ran concurrently with the ATP San Diego Open, a men’s professional tournament held for the second consecutive year at Barnes Tennis Center. Guests of the cultural event also gained free entry to Saturday’s qualifying rounds of the tournament. At the event itself, guests were treated to drills and games, led by former professional player, Angel Lopez, as well as current USD tennis stars, Elizabeth Goldsmith and Claudia De Las Heras.

Aside from free access to a high-quality tournament, attendants of the cultural event were also given the opportunity to attend a speakers panel featuring numerous Hispanic tennis players. The featured speakers included tennis legend, Rosie Casals, who has 12 grand slam doubles titles, and was one of the ‘Original Nine’ female tennis players that fought for equal pay, alongside Billie Jean King. Also on the panel was Nadia Abdala, who is Head Coach of the USD Women’s Tennis team, Richard Gonzales, son of Pancho Gonzales and a part of the Pancho Gonzales foundation, and finally Fernando Verdasco, who is a Spanish professional tennis player with a career-high ranking of World No. 7 in singles.

USTA SoCal’s Hispanic Heritage Month Cultural Event coupled with the ATP San Diego Open was just the beginning of celebrating the culture and vast influence of Hispanic players, coaches, and athletes in Southern California. USTA SoCal will continue to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month, and the importance of diversity in our section for this month, and the year to come.