Foulkes, Newman named to USTA
Junior Leadersip Team
May 18, 2018
Harris Foulkes and Julia Newman have been named to the third annual USTA Junior Leadership Team, which recognizes America’s finest junior tennis players who exhibit leadership, sportsmanship and character on and off the court.
Foulkes, a resident of Belmont, Mass., and Newman, of Natick, Mass., are among more than 30 players nationwide named to the USTA Junior Leadership Team. Each player was nominated by his or her USTA section for their excellence in tennis and in the community.
“These players are our future leaders, and the values they’ve shown to embody both on the court and in the community are evidence that our future will be in good hands,” said Lew Brewer, the USTA’s Director of Junior Competition. “They are the perfect role models that represent our nationwide Net Generation efforts, and they truly deserve to be recognized with the USTA Junior Leadership Team.”ADVERTISEMENT
Foukles, 18, has been ranked in the Top 150 of the USTA Boys’ 18-and-under national standings and No. 4 in the New England section. He’s been ranked in the Top 10 in New England in every age group (12s to 18s), is a four-time sectional doubles champion and has won multiple sportsmanship awards at USTA tournaments. He’s earned all-scholastic honors from both the Boston Globe and Boston Herald.
Newman, also 18, has been ranked in the Top 100 nationally in the USTA girls’ 16- and 18-and-under standings, and was either the No. 1 or No. 2 player in the New England section in every age group. She placed third in women’s and mixed doubles at two USTA National Open tournaments in 2017, was a third-place finisher at the 2015 USTA Girls’ 16s National Clay Court Championships and earned the New England 16-and-under Sportsmanship Award that same year. She’s been recognized multiple times over for her academics and character at Newton Country Day School and earned medals for National Language Exams in both French and Spanish.
Each year, more than 120,000 players compete in USTA junior tournaments. Players compete in levels of competition through earned advancement in the 10s, 12s, 14s, 16s and 18s age divisions. USTA junior tournaments help kids take their game as far as they want – high school, college or pros – or just have fun competing.
In their own words:
Harris Foulkes: Ever since I first picked up a racquet at the age of 4, tennis has been an integral part of my life, and my passion for the sport has never wavered. Despite the fact that no one else in my family had any tennis knowledge, I was immediately drawn to the sport because of the individual challenge it presents. The problem-solving skills that playing competitive tennis requires are the reason I find the sport so engaging. No matter the circumstances, you have to have the ability to shut away any self-doubt you may be feeling and find a way to perform at a high level. The kind of self-belief that I have developed will serve me far beyond my playing career.
While the ultimate goal when you step on the court is to win the match, I have realized that no win is worth sacrificing your character for. While I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with multiple extraordinary coaches, one commonality is the behavior expected of me when on the court. It was made clear to me that acting out would not be tolerated as I was told that no match is worth compromising your morals over. This is something I try to internalize whenever I step on the tennis court.
When I was 11 years old, playing a match at zonals, I had an experience that virtually every competitive tennis player has had. I was playing against a player who took some liberties with his line calls that were quite shocking to me at the time. After the match, I realized that my opponent’s behavior permanently influenced the way I viewed him not only as a player but as a person. I understood that the way one acts on the court is a direct reflection of what type of person he or she is off of it. This realization was crucial to my development as I quickly realized that my behavior was far more important than my results.
The character development that comes with playing competitive tennis is something I am eternally grateful for.
Julia Newman: I started tennis when I was 4, and my younger sister Claudia was critically ill in the hospital in Geneva, Switzerland. Friends of the family took me to a tennis club for fun and to keep me busy. Tennis has turned into a lifelong passion for me, and Claudia recovered, but she will always need a wheelchair.
Tennis has been a huge part of my life since then, and especially since we moved from Switzerland to New England when I was 7. It’s taught me countless lessons, from responsibility, to persistence and the importance of graciousness and sportsmanship. Having to balance school and tennis has truly fine-tuned my time management skills. Finding times to study on the car ride to practice, using my free periods as wisely as I can and making sure I cut out times in my day to prioritize the work I really need to do versus the things I can get done another day.
Tennis has also allowed me to develop a sense of responsibility and persistence on court during matches which I carry off the court as well. In a singles match it’s only you on the court controlling your side of the net. This puts a lot of responsibility on you as a player and a person to accept that every loss and every win is all on you. Persistence through long and hard matches is another skill learned through tennis which can be put into action day to day. Learning how to deal with making your own line calls and staying mentally calm if your opponent is misbehaving is yet another obstacle a player needs to overcome in tennis.
Finally, tennis has given me a community of best friends and close bonds that will last a lifetime. The USTA New England tennis community in particular, after traveling and training together, sometimes playing against one another, other times being on the same team, has allowed me to meet some of my best friends, and for that I’m extremely grateful. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without my coach Celeste Frey. She believed in me since she started coaching me at 11 years old. I owe so much to her. She knows my game inside and out and even over the phone if I split sets at a national, or after a tough loss, she knows exactly what to say.