2019 Year in Review:
Net Generation continues growth
Sally Milano | December 5, 2019
As 2019 draws to a close, USTA.com is taking a look back at the top storylines, headlines and highlights from the year in American tennis. Here, we revisit another exceptional year for Net Generation, which saw over 50,000 young people in the U.S. participate in Net Generation activations across the country.
Net Generation was founded three years ago as the USTA's revolutionary youth tennis brand to empower and equip kids to play tennis, while providing resources to parents, coaches and providers. Each year since its inception, Net Generation has grown, and in 2019, new and innovative programs and activations helped reach more kids, giving them exposure to the sport and the opportunity to develop skills to succeed, both on and off the court.
Nearly 58,000 kids, aged 5-18, participated in Net Generation programs this year, with activations integrated at several pro tournaments throughout the country.
Whether at US Open Series events, Davis and Fed Cup ties, or USTA Pro Circuit, ATP and WTA tournaments, local kids had the chance to get up-close-and-personal with tennis stars by participating in kids' day activities and pre-match coin tosses, serving as player escorts to the pros as they walked on court prior to their matches, and taking part in youth tennis demos to showcase their skills and inspire other kids and families to play tennis.
Net Generation also took center stage at the 2019 US Open, connecting with more fans than ever before at the tournament. The “Kids on Court” experience involved more than 1,500 youth tennis players from across the country, giving them the opportunity to play on the courts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and to participate in coin tosses at seven courts, including Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“Kids on Court,” now in its third year, included more courts and more sessions in 2019, taking place prior to the first 10 day sessions on each of the US Open’s show courts: Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium, Grandstand and Court 17, as well as Courts 5, 11 and 12. They were also held in Arthur Ashe Stadium prior to four night sessions.
The Net Generation Kids' Zone presented by Emirates made its debut at the 2019 US Open and introduced fans to the USTA's American Development Model, a multi-sport approach to building future athletes and tennis greats. The Kids’ Zone was a huge hit, with nearly 10,000 fans of all ages experiencing a range of sports activities, from soccer, basketball and golf to an agility course, hockey and the fan favorite—tennis!
NBA superstar Kobe Bryant spent two days at the US Open this year and got in on the action, surprising a group of NJTL kids with an appearance at the Kids’ Zone, which had visits from Sloane Stephens, Bob and Mike Bryan, Marin Cilic and other pros, as well. The basketball legend also participated in a coin toss with a Net Generation kid prior to one of Roger Federer’s matches.
The inaugural Net Generation Aces program also launched at this year’s US Open, to honor youth tennis players from all 17 sections between the ages of 13 and 17 who are making a positive difference in their local communities through creative and impactful tennis programs.
The Net Generation Aces attended the US Open as part of a four-day VIP trip, which included a suite experience at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, a surprise visit from Venus Williams and the Bryan brothers, and a working session with USTA senior management, in which the Aces provided feedback on current USTA initiatives and discussed ideas for future programming.
For more information on Net Generation, visit netgeneration.com.
For more American tennis highlights from 2019, check out our Year in Review page here.