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Interview with Elliott Harris, Sun-Times columnist
National Tennis Month, USTA's Media Day

May 12, 2009



8 a.m., Miami:

Anna to Elliott Harris:
Anna: "Hi, Elliott. It's Anna. How are you?"

Good. And you?
Anna: "Good, good. Long time.[in December]...Yes, and it was freezing. But I had a good time. It was very quick. It was in and out. It was for a good cause [Boys & Girls Clubs of America] that was important to me."

And now?
Anna: "It's National Tennis Month. It's always such a great pleasure to promote the game that gave me so much. Obviously, it'll always be a part of my life. It was very important to get involved with the USTA to encourage kids to get involved in sports. I would love to encourage them to play any sport and be active. Obviously, I would like it to be more with tennis because it's the sport that I know. Nowadays, it's just so hard with kids texting and instant-messaging and playing video games. They don't even get outside. They don't even get socialized in person; they text each other. So I thought it was the perfect opportunity for me to kind of spread the message to parents and also for adults to get involved in tennis. The weather is getting good. How's the weather in Chicago now?"

Things are warming up as we speak...
Anna: "Good, good. When the weather starts getting good, you've got to come out and move around a little bit. Tennis is a great sport because you can start at any age. You know how a lot of people think it's just a country-club sport and stuff? But actually, 70 percent of all people play on public courts, so that's really cool."

So any Chicago-area Tennis Month events?
Anna: "You can go to, and that's where you get all the information about all the local events happening in your area."

And when are you going to come to Chicago again and play some tennis when the weather's nice?
Anna: "I hope I can come and see you. Is there a team around Chicago somewhere?"

Alas, there is a lack. Is Billie Jean King still running things?
Anna: "Yes, she is."

You need to tell her to bring a franchise to Chicago.
Anna: "I know. We're going to talk to her, huh?"

Anna: "So what else is going on?"

Not much. It's not every day that Anna can serve as the wake-up service. I'm not a morning person.
Anna: "You like to sleep in?"

Well, after going to the hockey game Monday night and staying up late, yes. We need to get you to a Blackhawks game.
Anna: "I know. I've never been."

Drop the ceremonial puck, go to Wrigley Field and sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."
Anna: "That's a great idea."

Hey, Quick Hits is here to help. Whenever she's around. Which won't be for a while.
Anna: "I'm going to Atlanta [today] for the Boys & Girls Clubs and Cartoon Network for the Red Rubber Ball campaign. On Saturday, I'm flying to Turkey and Germany [for a USO tour], so that should be fun."

Anna also has a birthday coming up (hey, somebody has to keep track of all this).
Anna: "Yes, I do. The fifth of June I'm going to be in the Czech Republic, and on the sixth and seventh I'll be in Germany playing an exhibition match. I'll be busy."

She never lacks for activities.
Anna: "I can't sit still, as you remember."

Ah, memories. And one of these days, you'll still give me tennis lessons, right?
Anna: "Absolutely, Elliott, absolutely."





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