Local Grand-Am Driver, Tennis Star Hit the Court at Treasure Island SONOMA, Calif. (July 15, 2008) -- Bay Area racecar driver Memo Gidley and tennis ace Anna Chakvetadze squared off in a unique game of tennis on Monday, with the Bay Bridge...
Local Grand-Am Driver, Tennis Star Hit the Court at Treasure Island
SONOMA, Calif. (July 15, 2008) -- Bay Area racecar driver Memo Gidley and tennis ace Anna Chakvetadze squared off in a unique game of tennis on Monday, with the Bay Bridge and San Francisco skyline serving as a stunning backdrop.
The athletes played a friendly game on Treasure Island, which connects San Francisco with the East Bay, on a temporary court built just a brief stroll from the Bay Bridge. They were in town to promote upcoming sporting events -- Chakvetadze is the defending champion of this week's Bank of the West Classic at Stanford University, while Gidley will be at Infineon Raceway, Aug. 22-24, for the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County.
Gidley, from Novato, will compete in the Armed Forces 250 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series event on Saturday, Aug. 23, with the IndyCar® Series taking center stage on Sunday, Aug. 24, featuring drivers like Danica Patrick, Helio Castroneves and Indianapolis 500 champion Scott Dixon.
Gidley, who enjoys playing tennis for fitness, showed excellent form in the 15-minute game against Chakvetadze, even charging the net to display his strong volley game.
"He really surprised me. I was surprised that he was so good," said Chakvetadze, who is currently No. 8 in the world and is from Moscow. "I actually love sports cars. I have a Porsche, and I love to drive fast, as well."
Once tennis was complete, Gidley showed Chakvetadze an IndyCar Series Ethanol show-car that was on display. Chakvetadze even hopped in the cockpit for a closer look.
"This was a lot of fun," said Gidley. "She certainly knows her way around the court, but I'm pretty sure I could teach her a thing or two on the race track."