Weekends with Whitney: Wheelchair Tennis Tournament
BATON ROUGE- Tennis players come from all over the world to compete in Baton Rouge's Cajun Classic, but they aren't just any tennis players.
Dana Matthewson has a a powerful serve, a fierce forehand, and a beautiful backhand, making her an elite tennis player. What makes it extraordinary is that she plays the game from a wheelchair.
She's one of the 130 wheelchair tennis players competing in Baton Rouge this week for world-ranking points, and thousands of dollars in prize money.
"When you're out here you are just like everyone else and the chair doesn't matter," said Matthewson. "it doesn't matter how disabled you are, you can come out here and blow someone that's less disabled than you out of the water."
Matthewson was just 10-years-old when a rare auto-immune disease attacked her spinal cord. Three years later her mom enrolled her in a tennis camp put on by Dan James from the U.S. Tennis Association.
"My mom literally dragged me kicking and screaming to a camp that Dan was at and they taught me tennis," she said. "I fell in love with it."
Dana's journey has taken her to tournaments all over the globe, as part of the world cup team.
This week players from 18 different countries and 29 states are competing in Baton Rouge.
Everyone is encouraged to come out. You can see great tennis through Sunday at the Manship YMCA.