NJTL 50 for 50:
McCarton Ackerman | August 8, 2019
As the USTA Foundation celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the National Junior Tennis & Learning network, USTA.com looks at 50 NJTL leaders and alumni who helped shape this incredible community dedicated to helping youth strive for academic and athletic excellence on the tennis court, in the classroom and in life.
In this installment, we catch up with NJTL participant Robin Montgomery, who has become one of the top junior players in the country. She competed this summer in the junior French Open and junior Wimbledon events, in addition to making her WTA debut this month at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C.
The Robin Montgomery File
Name: Robin Montgomery
NJTL Chapter: Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC)
Role with NJTL: Current participant on the Excellence Team
Year became active in NJTL: 2009
How did you first get involved in NJTL?
Robin Montgomery: When I started training at JTTC, I became part of their NJTL chapter. I participated in the variety of activities that the NJTL organizes. I was able to travel to Florida and participate in many training camps. I was also able to participate in the Arthur Ashe Essay Contest and give back to the community by teaching tennis at different schools.
What are some of the things you’ve enjoyed most about the NJTL?
Robin Montgomery: I really enjoyed traveling to Florida and when other NJTL chapters came to College Park [Maryland] for events. Tennis is an individual sport, so it’s always really fun when the chapters get together and you get to see your friends.
How has being involved with the Excellence Team benefitted you on and off the court?
Robin Montgomery: Being on the Excellence Team benefitted me because it gave me the opportunity to travel to different places at a young age. It was a fun, yet competitive atmosphere that helped prepare me for the level of tennis and tournaments that I currently play.
How motivating is it to have pro players like Frances Tiafoe, Denis Kudla and Hailey Baptiste come out of JTCC?
Robin Montgomery: It’s very motivating to have those three come out of JTCC. They have inspired me and showed me that dreams can come true when you work hard.
What did it mean to you to be selected as a winner for the Arthur Ashe Essay Contest back in 2013?
Robin Montgomery: It was an honor to win when I was 9 years old. I believe tennis and sports is a great way to unite people from around the world. The Arthur Ashe Essay Contest is one way that new ideas about tennis and our world can be communicated to a broader audience.
Tennis is a game that teaches many life skills. Strategically thinking, writing and communicating your thoughts is very important. Since I love tennis, it was great to share ideas about tennis and how it should be available to everyone of all races, ages and genders.
What are some of your goals for the future, both on and off the court?
Robin Montgomery: I am aiming to be in the Top 30 of the ITF junior rankings, work on breaking through on the pro level and finish high school early.