Junior Team Tennis
Big Apple International Cup
June 12, 2018
USTA Eastern successfully hosted an inaugural international junior tournament, the Junior Team Tennis (JTT) Big Apple International Cup, on June 5-7, 2018 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The tournament featured some of the best junior players from the United States (specifically from the USTA Eastern Section), Canada, Mexico and Spain. Team play is a new concept for many of these players and the team format allowed for a fresh experience and to play with team and country pride.
This tournament provided USTA Eastern players the chance for international competition. It is incredibly encouraging and beneficial for a player’s development to allow them to compete at such a prestigious international level at such a young age.
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A great benefit of this tournament for Eastern juniors was the opportunity to be evaluated by a National Player Development Coach. ADVERTISEMENT Jay Devashetty, USTA Player Development National Coach and Director of Training Center East, attendeed the JTT matches to help select USTA Eastern’s roster. He was in full support of the event and appreciates both the camaraderie and competitive spirit of the inaugural tournament.
“This was a great opportunity for participants to compete at a high level against players from different countries to improve their tennis. Having the ability to develop healthy relationships and camaraderie with team members is a huge benefit of these types of tournaments. Many of these players have participated in international competitions because they are some of the best in their country, however, the format does not often offer the ability to play on a team.”
Team USA was assembled from top JTT players along with nationally ranked Eastern juniors. Several competitors completed the entire 2017-2018 JTT season undefeated in both Singles and Doubles. Additionally, several competitors have achieved as high as number 1 national ranking within the Girls’ 14U, Boys’ 14U and Girls’ 12U divisions. Participating juniors have also competed at the Easter Bowl, ITF Junior World Cup Qualifiers and Les Petit As tournament in France.
Interestingly, a majority of the junior talent involved in this event had not experienced a team competition at this level. Stephanie Yakoff, number 1 ranked player in the country in Girls’ 12U division said, “It’s really fun to play in this event, even in the super national tournaments, you don’t exactly have the opportunity to play people from all over the world. I like meeting new people and seeing different game styles.”
The tournament even featured a Net Generation play day for local Brooklyn and Queens kids to allow them to try their hand at tennis. On the third day, the Chase Center was home to several students who decided to capitalize on a New York City-wide day-off from school to enjoy tennis. The activities were led by top USTA Eastern juniors who train at the National Tennis Center.
Team USA was victorious in both the 12U and 14U divisions! See below for the results for all three days of action during the tournament.
Team USA vs Team Mexico - Winning Score 6-0
Team Canada vs Team Spain - Winning Score 4-2
Team USA vs Team Mexico – Winning Score 6-0
Team Spain vs Canada – Winning Score 5-1
Team Spain vs Team Mexico – Winning Score 6- 0
Team USA vs Team Canada – Winning Score 4-3
Team Spain vs Team Mexico – Winning Score 4-2
Team USA vs Team Canada – Winning Score 4-2
Team USA vs Team Spain – Winning Score 4-2
Team Canada vs Team Mexico – Winning Score 5-1
Team USA vs Team Spain – Winning Score 6-0
Team Canada vs Team Mexico- Winning Score 4- 3