Chu, Yim named to USTA
Junior Leadership Team
May 18, 2018
Chloe Chu and Alan Yim 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.
Chu and Yim, both residents of Bellevue, Wash., 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
Chu, 17, has been ranked in the Top 60 in her age group of the USTA national standings and as high as No. 1 in the Pacific Northwest section. She’s won 16-and-under singles titles at USTA national and sectional tournaments and in 2016 was named the most improved player of the year at the Central Park Tennis Club, one of the two clubs where she volunteers to teach younger kids tennis.
Yim, also 17, has been ranked in the Top 100 of the USTA national standings and No. 2 in the Pacific Northwest section in every age group. He was a runner-up at the USTA Boys’ 14s national doubles championship and won the sportsmanship award at the USTA Boys’ 16s intersectional team championships. Additionally, he was the team MVP on the Lakeside School varsity tennis team.
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...
Chloe Chu: Tennis has been a huge part of my life since the age of 10. The tennis courts were my second home, and the people I trained with became my second family. Soon, it became a part of my identity and my teacher of many things that I could apply in my life. Tennis has a lot of ups and downs because you lose some and you win some. Despite the sore feelings of losing, it motivated me to work harder than I did already.
I had the privilege to compete in the USTA Girls’ 18s National Team event last summer to represent PNW. When I was the last match still on the court, I felt the pressure and had to persevere through the nerves. I had to be resilient and fight until the end of the match. Then, I finally finished my opponent in three long sets.
The principles that I have learned from tennis apply to what I put into school and life. Tennis has taught me to be disciplined and independent. I am very privileged to be able to play a sport I love and travel to places I never would have thought to go. I have created many memories and friendships along the way because of tennis. I wouldn’t choose any other sport to play.
Alan Yim: It’s 5-5 in the third set. I’ve been on the court for three-and-a-half hours, battling in the 100-degree heat with no shade, no protection. My left leg is cramping, and blisters are beginning to form on my hands and feet. My body screams to stop, looking for any relief from the brutal test of both mental and physical strength that I am engaged in. And, yet, I smile. I love the battle. I love that feeling when you shake hands with your opponent, happy with how you played and pleased with the work you have put in.
For me, tennis is more than just a game. No matter the ranking, the conditions or the opponent, tennis comes down to you and how much you want it. “In tennis, you have to learn to row your own boat,” my coach tells me. How far are you willing to push yourself? The opportunity to put in 110 percent in practice and to see the results in matches is why I love tennis. How much adversity are you willing to take? From the third-set battles to the unpredictable upsets, the competitiveness and individuality of the sport is addicting.
Having had the unfortunate experience of being injured for an entire year, I gained perspective on how lucky I am to play tennis and, no matter the result, I should be thankful for the opportunity to compete. However, the desire to win is not an excuse for a lack of sportsmanship. As a tennis player, while experiencing countless emotions on the court, I try to maintain my best composure and have good sportsmanship at all times. As I have grown and matured, I realize that my opponent works just as hard as me and deserves to be recognized for his hard work.
Tennis should be a game where players can showcase their hard work and skill without being intimidated by their opponents. When I play, I remind myself that, not only am I representing myself, but I am representing my family, my coaches and everyone who supports me. A good reputation is hard to build, yet can be so easily lost. One bad call or the toss of a racquet and your reputation can be ruined. I pride myself on being a good sport on the court and have gained a lot of confidence from it.