Duban’s Liezel Huber in the spotlight at US Open
The match was contested on Sunday between Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka, and their opponents Victoria Azarenka and Ashleigh Barty, at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre. Mertens and Sabalenka defeated Azarenka and Barty to take the doubles title.
Huber, who became a US citizen in 2007, was born and raised in Durban, and played tennis at Westridge Park. She attended Port Natal Skool in Umbilo.
“In 1992, as a 15-year-old I came to America with a suitcase and a dream. Becoming No1 in the world (in women’s doubles tennis) gave me a platform to stand up and make a difference. I have the opportunity to serve thousands of kids through tennis and education, plus I get to give back to the sport and country that afforded me so much. A dream come true. I am living the dream now,” she said.
Huber is now the executive director of tennis at the Cary Leeds Centre for Tennis and Learning in the US.
Among Huber’s many achievements was being the top-ranked women’s doubles player for 199 weeks and a three-time Olympian. She won 57 WTA and seven Grand Slam doubles titles.
She said she was grateful to have been given the task of presenting the trophies.
“I congratulated the finalists. I also told the winners to enjoy this moment. I remember the feeling of holding the US Open trophy. What a feeling!”
Her advice to budding tennis players was: “Two words - hard work.”
Huber played her last professional match at the US Open in 2017, before retiring in August this year.
“I am also involved in South African tennis. Many South Africans knock on my door. We open our house and help with their training,” she said.
Huber also presented the junior boys’ and men’s wheelchair doubles trophies at last year’s US Open.
“Nothing tops presenting a trophy on Arthur Ashe Stadium, plus a trophy that I have three of,” she said.