Tennis Talk with RS Intern: Claudia Hellman
As summer comes to a bittersweet end, the US Open Week offers a chance for New Yorkers to witness the best global tennis players battle for the title of champion in several high intensity matches. We sat down with avid tennis player, fan and Roger Smith intern Claudia Hellman to learn more.
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I was born in Madrid, but I came to the US after receiving a tennis scholarship to North Carolina. During my sophomore year I became interested in playing tennis in New York, because it offers so many opportunities. I graduated in May 2017, majoring in Business Management and Mathematics. Soon discovering my love for the hospitality industry, I became part of the Roger Smith Management Internship Program where I’m able to interact with many multicultural people while practicing four languages.
What are some of your favorite parts about living in NYC?
I love exploring Manhattan! In the city there is always something new and exciting to do, whether it be trying a new restaurant, participating in an activity at Bryant Park or running in Central Park, I love it all! The energy of this city is magnetic. I enjoy spending time with family and friends at museums and places where we can enjoy the beautiful skyline of the city.
How long have you played tennis? Where are some of your favorite places to play in NYC?
I started playing at a very young age and went on to compete in Europe at age 14. My dad and my grandfather also played. I promised my grandfather that I would have a one-handed backhand technique like Justine Henin. Unfortunately, I never quite mastered the one-handed grip, which is why I still practice the two-handed grip instead.
Its exciting to me to discover new places to practice. Hudson River Park is a great spot to play during the sunset, the view is really beautiful. The Clay Courts at the Riverside Park also have a unique quality, and of course, Central Park is always a great experience.
What is your itinerary for the US Open? Do you plan to attend any matches?
I have plans to go to the stadium for a few matches during US Open. I love the atmosphere that live tennis provides at this level and hoping to attend the qualifiers as well. They are interesting matches because the audience is given the opportunity to witness the upcoming generation’s talent. On this week, the seats are much closer to the court allowing spectators a better feel for the matches.
I would love to see Juan Martin del Potro, top ranking Argentinian tennis pro. I made plans to watch him play last year, however, my intentions were stalled after arriving late and learning hat his opponent was forced to retire due to an injury. I look forward to the tournaments this year and hopefully watching my favorite player.
To learn more about US Open match schedule.