The Oracle Pro Series – Dallas, a women’s ITF World Tennis Tour $25K event taking place at Southern Methodist University (SMU) through Sunday, featured a special exhibition with Coco Gauff, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier and Christina McHale tonight at SMU’s Brookshire Family Pavilion. The sold-out event featured women’s singles, men’s singles and mixed doubles.
The evening kicked off with women’s singles, where 15-year-old phenom Gauff showed why she has been tabbed as the next big thing in tennis. After saving a break point in the first game, the teenager regrouped, put on a serving clinic and even enlisted the help of a talented ball girl to win 6-3 over McHale.
“I’m not a Dallas Cowboys fan, but I love Dallas,” said Gauff to a packed house at Brookshire Family Pavilion. “I got a lot of support from people when I was winning at Wimbledon, but coming home to the United States with amazing crowds like this is unbelievable.”
A big “come on!” from Roddick kicked off the match after winning the first point in men’s singles. “I haven’t had a lead in 5 years,” he joked with the crowd, which included Dallas Mavericks Legend Dirk Nowitzki. He went on to hold the lead for the remainder of the set, hitting his signature powerful serves and breaking Courier late to win 6-3.
“I’ve spent most of my life in Texas,” said Roddick. “And I’m so proud of the rich tennis history here, so it’s great to come back and play in my home state.”
The highlight of the night, however, was when all four superstars took the court for an exciting set of mixed doubles, where Coco Gauff partnered with Jim Courier and Christina McHale teamed up with Andy Roddick.
Banter – especially between Roddick and Gauff – set the tone for the match. “I can only guess where you’re going on your serve and try to return it,” said Gauff. “There’s no point, because I don’t even know where I’m going,” replied Roddick. Dozens of thrilling points and quick-witted moments later, Team McHale/Roddick took the match 6-2.
The exhibition is part of the recently-launched Oracle Pro Series, which will include more than 25 new ATP, WTA and ITF World Tennis Tour professional tournaments in the United States over the course of 2019 and 2020. The Series will create more than 40 percent new playing opportunities in the United States for tennis professionals.
Prior to the evening’s pro exhibition, the “Little Mo” exhibition showcased some of the “Little Mo” Nationals winners and runners-up, in a sampling of some of the country’s top junior players. Both Coco Gauff and Andy Roddick are former “Little Mo” Champions, and current Boys’ 11s Winner and Dallas resident Wesley Cotton was excited to play on the same courts and hopefully follow in the footsteps of some of his tennis heroes.
“It was really cool to play on the same court as Coco Gauff, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier and Christina McHale,” said Wesley. “I watch them play and I want to be the best like them, so it’s a really cool experience.”