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Katrina Adams: Taking tennis to the next level for future generations

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When it comes to the sport of tennis, Katrina Adams knows how to ace the game.

She is the first African-American to serve as president of the United States Tennis Association as well as the first former player to serve in the organization's 135 year history.

"I'm very fortunate to do what I love," Adams said.

Her love of tennis started on Chicago's West Side. She would tag along with her older brothers, begging for the chance to pick up a racquet during a summer program at a local park.

"Yeah, I stumbled on this sport," she explained. "And I was very lucky that I had someone who wanted to bring me along and take me under his wing."

But it's been hard work, not luck,  that brought her here.

Not only does she oversee the U.S. Open, one of the biggest tennis events in the world, she also works daily to bring the next generation to the game.

"My role and my goal when I came into this was to leave a legacy behind and to make sure I leave no stone unturned in promoting diversity, in promoting the elevation of women leadership," Adams said.

Maybe the next generation of the Williams sisters.

"What Venus and Serena have done throughout their career. They were emulated," Adams said. "These players that you see today looked up to them, they idolized them and now we’ll be able to bring in that next bunch of players as well. I want to do the same thing on the Hispanic side. "

To do that, she will draw inspiration from Arthur Ashe — someone who broke barriers in tennis.

"To look at what he stood for and how he represented himself and really a whole race of people,"Adams said. "And so, being here as the president of the [United States Tennis Association],  sitting here in Arthur Ashe stadium at the US Open ....  Words cannot express how I truly feel but it's phenomenal and it’s vitally important."

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