Professional tennis player gives free lessons to students all for a good cause

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NEW HAVEN --  Nationally ranked tennis player, Sloane Stephens, said as long as you give them the opportunity to play, that’s the most important thing.

And for some New Haven third grade students, they got to serve up a chance to play some tennis for the first time.

The Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies is back for its 20th year at the Connecticut Tennis Center. On hand, Stephens, one of the first to sign on with the Open, is helping out with the rookies, for now at least.

"Starting today, starting here, that one great player may be in that group", said Stephens.

The 24-year-old Stephens, who has won tournaments since she played as a junior, was also promoting Soles for Souls, a charity initiative the Open will showcase.

"They collect lightly worn shoes for U.S. tennis players. Often we get a lot of shoes at tournaments that we don’t use, so I was like 'why not give them to a charity that could make an amazing use out of them.' "

But back to the kids, the real stars of the show today, learning a thing or two from the pro. Like Jeniya Henry, who learned to "Make the thing go close to each other and practice the bounce."