Two-time International Tennis Hall of Famer and Coachella Valley resident Rosie Casals is back at the BNP Paribas Open with the annual Love & Love Tennis Foundation event.
“Well, it’s kind of exciting to have everybody back and I’ve done my, fundraiser here for the last 11 years, it’s so good for everything to be open again.”
Love & Love Tennis Foundation is a nonprofit organization that promotes and supports the growth of youth tennis in the Coachella Valley. The event was packed with big-ticket raffle items and all the proceeds benefiting the foundation and their efforts to make tennis accessible to all kids.
Plenty of supporters were in attendance, including Tennis Channel President, Ken Solomon.
“Rosie has more energy now than she had when she used to play and she’s turned it into something that’s very, very special. I think it reminds us about all the good things that come out of the sport and have come from these great people.”
The event also celebrated the Original Nine, who were inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2021. In 1970. The Original Nine risked everything with their famous $1 contracts in order to create a future for women’s professional sports. Several of them were there to support their friend’s great cause, like the winner of the famous “Battle of the Sexes”, Billie Jean King.
“I grew up with free access in the parks and Long Beach, so I know how important it is to have free access that Rosie Casals and Love & Love foundation is providing. Who knows you never know the spark that might happen within the child, I mean, it happened with me! It’s about not only about you, but it’s about the future generations inspiring them we want kids to be in tennis.”
Also there in support of Casals, was 18 Grand Slam singles titles winner, Martina Navratilova.
“You know, it’s love and love, there’s a reason for that name. She gives love and then she receives love for it. It’s nice to be able to come and support a great cause and see some old friends.”
Casals, says that she is grateful for her friends who believe in her mission.
“It’s nice to see him again and they support what I do, so it makes it even better. You know, I remember when I started, you can’t do anything and be successful without help, so I want to give back.”