The BNP Paribas Open is the largest two-week ATP World Masters 1000 and WTA Premier event outside the four Grand Slams in the world. The games initially began under the epithet of The American Airlines Tennis Games at Mission Hills Country Club in Palm Springs in 1979. There were 12 future tennis Hall of Famers there, including Arthur Ashe, Bjorn Borg, and Cliff Drysdale. Since then, the BNP Paribas Open has been nationally renown with participation from today’s biggest stars, such as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and more.
This year, RMHS students were able to experience the BNP Paribas Open up close and personal. Jevin Dorsey and Zoe Kolytiris from the Journalism program here at Rancho Mirage High School were able to experience the life of a real journalist, teaming up with High School Nation to interview some of the up and coming tennis players at the Oracle Challenger Series. The Challenger helps the bigger names in the tennis world to hone their skills and get ready for the Open, while also serving as a platform for newer athletes to showcase their skills and see how they fare against some of the better competition the world has to offer.
Kolytiris and Dorsey, along with 2 students from Palm Springs High and two more from Cathedral City High, were able to conduct interviews with several players. The interviewees were former Wimbeldon junior singles national champion Noah Rubin, former women’s tennis national championship winner and top 100 women’s player Jennifer Brady, doubles partners JC Aragone and Marcos Giron, and finally former men’s top 100 player South African Lloyd Harris.
The students were able to ask any questions they want, and seeing the faces of these professional athletes light up, shows that beyond all of the sports things like contracts, training, and things of that nature, they are just like the rest of us. They just have a talent that they perfect every single day, which makes interviews from students who want to know about them on a personal level more relaxing and fun for both sides. All in all, the students were emphatic and outgoing, and the players loved the students’ questions and answering them for as long as they could.