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Greater El Paso Tennis Assoc.

1 Tennis West Lane

El Paso, Tx.  79932

(915) 532-5524



Marcelo Diaz Ball Kid Experience at BNP Paribas Open

April 7, 2015 03:07 PM

Marcelo_Diaz_BNPSixteen-year-old El Paso junior player Marcelo Diaz (pictured, right) recently got back from Indian Wells, Calif. and told us all about his trip being a ball kid at one of the foremost tennis tournaments on the planet, the BNP Paribas Open.

The tournament typically has more than 500 kids vying for the coveted spot of shagging balls for the pros each year, and this year Diaz was among that select group.

The tournament has often chosen kids from the Southwest, due to our relative proximity to the tournament. The event gives kids ages 12-20 a unique opportunity to be up close and personal with the best tennis players on the planet, and the ball kid package at the BNP Paribas Open is among the best.

Marcelo got to keep his uniform. got 2 daily complimentary grounds passes for the length of the time he was there, and was in on some autograph sessions with ATP and WTA Tour players.

Marcello, who plays several events each year across the Southwest, had a blast.  So we asked him all about it.

USTASW: How were you selected to be a ball kid at the BNP Paribas Open?
MD: My mom received an invitation for me via e-mail. The process of how they got to me, we do not clearly know.

USTASW: How long were your days out on the courts?
MD: My days were initially with one shift, approximately from 10 am - 4 pm. After the first day and the great experience I had, I asked the director if I could do double shifts and he said "yes". So after the first day, I worked from 10 am -11 pm until Saturday of the first week.

USTASW: What was your favorite match to ball boy?
MD: I think just being there was a great honor and a wonderful experience, but I felt very lucky to serve as a ball boy in one of David Ferrer's matches.

I want to mention, that the first match I worked was very hard. The logistics of it are not that easy. I fell, I was all confused, and the girl I was a ball kid for was very badly behaved on the court, which made me feel more nervous about it. I was a nervous wreck. After all the mistakes I made, I learned pretty fast, and by the second day I was already having fun doing it.

USTASW: Did you notice any player habits/routines that most players had or any particular player that stands out?
MD: Yes, I noticed that most of them have a very structured way of maintaining their focus. During the changeovers some of them would just close their eyes, or put a towel on their head, or just do something very repetitive. I remember seeing Victoria Azarenka, and she was really focused and very structured.

USTASW: Did you meet any players or coaches or celebrities at the BNP?
I met many players, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic and lots more. I had the honor of serving some big ones like Mardy Fish, Ana Ivanovic, Victoria Azarenka and the most fascinating one, David Ferrer.

USTASW: Do you plan to be a ball kid at the BNP Paribas Open again?
Oh yes, I am looking forward to do it again.