Rising Robin Montgomery talks making US Open history, NJTL and more
In her last act in the international junior ranks, 17-year-old left-hander Robin Montgomery made history at the US Open, and now, she's turning her sights to the professional tour. Last month, the Washington, D.C. native became the first player in 17 years, and first American since 1992, to win both the junior girls' singles and doubles titles at the US Open, and while her crowning moment was a culmination of more than 10 years of training, it's just the first step in what she hopes is a long and fruitful career in tennis.
Montgomery began her tennis journey at the Junior Tennis Champions' Center (JTCC) in College Park, Md., and still trains there today. JTCC is one of more than 250 USTA Foundation National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) chapters around the country which provides tennis and after-school educational support for young people. Through JTCC, Montgomery was also a thriving member of the USTA Foundation Excellence Team, an initiative by the USTA Foundation to support young athletes in both their on-court and educational off-court endeavors.
"When I was 6, I was hitting orange balls on a mini-court. The strokes were horrendous, but next thing you know, I'm with a group of 10 and 12 year-olds, and I'm still 6, turning 7, just a little girl having fun," she says.
"JTCC has helped me with development, and same with NJTL. They provided national camps, sectional camps and everything to develop young players. Even though we have big goals in tennis, they make sure we get an education off the court. They develop champions, but even people who go off to Ivy League schools."
Before professional tennis was put on pause last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Montgomery won her first professional title in Las Vegas, and made her women's Grand Slam debut at last year's Open as a wild card. She says she's ready to join fellow JTCC alums like Denis Kudla and Frances Tiafoe in the pro ranks, and has even revealed that Tiafoe has given her some advice as she takes the next step.
"Knowing that now I am someone that the generation after me will be looking up towards," she adds, "I really hope I can keep going on the path I'm going on, and show them the sacrifices you have to make to get to where you want to get."