At exactly 9:16 a.m., exactly 658 people—including more than 600 kids, some of their parents, and U.S. Open seeds Mardy Fish and Andrea Petkovic—collectively bounced tennis balls off their racquets for a full 10 seconds to set a new Guinness World Record for “most people bouncing a tennis ball on a tennis racquet in one location.”
The ball-bouncing brigade, clad in red and black Wilson t-shirts and using racquets the manufacturer gave out free of charge to aid in the record-setting effort, shattered the previous record of 383 ball bouncers, established in England in 2006.
Guinness Book of World Records official Mike Janela, aided by a corps of counters, officially certified the event as a world record minutes after the balls stopped bouncing.
Fish, who took photos and signed autographs with fans during the practice round before the successful record setting event, revealed that his first ball-bouncing experience came at age 3.
“I think I managed one ball bounce,” Fish said.
Petkovic placed a premium on learning the simple skill of ball bouncing.
“It can save your life,” she told the crowd a straight face.
Janela, who has audited and certified several Guinness records, said today’s event was one of his most memorable in his unique career.
“I was there for the largest serving of roast pork in Mexico, when 6,000 pounds of pork were consumed; it smelled incredible,” said Janela. “Another memorable one was the longest non-stop wave surfing—was three hours and 55 minutes on the Panama Canal. It was the first time the government ever allowed surfing on the Panama Canal.”
This marked the second time in three years that the New York metropolitan area hosted a successful Guinness tennis record. In August 2008, identical twin brothers and USPTA certified tennis teaching pros Angelo and Ettore Rossetti broke the Guinness World Record for the longest tennis rally, striking 25,944 shots without missing in an epic exchange at North Haven Health & Racquet in Connecticut.