MELBOURNE, January 9, 2024 (Press Release)
World No. 11 and three-time Grand Slam finalist Casper Ruud joined Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley to welcome the 424-strong Australian Open Ballkid Squad – the largest in the history of the tournament.
The enthusiastic group, outfitted in striking Ralph Lauren uniforms, hi-fived Ruud as he made his way through the throng. Ruud recalled his own experience as a ballkid and joined in the now iconic team photo – complete with a ‘balls in the air’ moment that has come to signify the beginning of the Australian Open.
The 2024 squad is made up of kids from across Australia, including eight First Nations kids, selected through the National Indigenous Tennis Carnival, and marks the return of the AO International Ballkid Program, with six kids from China and 20 from Korea.