Article Written By: Nicholas Djordjevic
Players competing at US National Indoor Tennis Championship in Memphis took time off from their on-court tennis commitments to on-court commitments of a different kind. Spain’s Feliciano Lopez served as captain of a squad of players joining in on the fun for the night at the FedEx Forum as the Memphis Grizzlies took on the Washington Wizards of the NBA.
The night kicked off with Lopez meeting fellow Spaniard, Memphis Grizzlies big man Marc Gasol at center court and exchanging a tennis racket and jersey and a chat in their native tongue before a crowd of 15,613.
Quarter time was time to shine for the visiting brethren of the professional athletics world. The defending doubles champions of the US National Indoor Tennis Championship, Bob and Mike Bryan battled against up-and-coming young guns, Ryan Harrison and Jack Sock in a Winter Olympics themed challenge. In a relay type challenge, one partner must hit a free throw, upon completion the second must hit a tennis ball and strike a small target on the club level of the arena. Much to the astonishment of the crowd, Harrison and Sock only needed one attempt at either of their duties.
The final quarter saw No. 2 tournament doubles seeds Eric Butorac and Raven Klaasen throwing out Grizzlies clothing and merchandise to the crowd and signing autographs before the game closed out with Memphis winning 92, Washington 89.
The 21 year old, Jack Sock is the youngest American in the top 100 and today breezed into the quarter-final (his second so far of the season) by upsetting 20 year old Czech national, Jiri Vesely 6-2 6-1 in 1 hour and 8 minutes.