Awards & Achievements, January 2022
Piper Charney, of Mt. Pleasant, S.C, won the National Winter Championships in Girls' 18s singles and doubles. Seeded No. 26, Charney defeated Californian Katie Codd 6-4, 3-6, 6.-4 in the singles final. Charney teamed up with Floridan Natalie Block to win 6-1, 6-1 over Ava Bruno and Erin Ha.
Southerners had other successes. Mia Yamakita, of Alpharetta, Ga., was a doubles finalists in the Girls' 16s and also won the Sportsmanship Award.
Xander Barber, of Asheville, N.C., and Virginia's Stiles Brockett, were winners of the gold ball in Boys' 16s doubles. Jackson Kirby, who lives in Buckhead, Ga., placed third in Boys' 16s doubles.
Anderson, S.C.'s Noah Johnston and Gray Kelley, of California, were third-place finishers in Boys' 14s.
Second-seeded Lincoln Battle, of Raleigh, N.C., and Jelani Sarr of Pooler, Ga., won a bronze ball for finishing third in the Boys' 18s doubles.
Elery Mendell, of Watkinsville, Ga., took fourth place in the Girls' 12s. Raleigh, N.C.'s Griffin Goode and Suwanee, Ga.'s Aryan Ponugoti finished fourth in the Boys' 12s.
Julie Ditty Sportsmanship Award
The 2022 USTA Pro Circut season marks the introduction of the Julie Ditty Sportsmanship Award, which will be given annually to one male and one female player who best exemplifies the spirit of sportsmanship as voted upon by USTA Pro Circuit tournament directors. The award is named after Julie Ditty Qualls, the former pro and beloved coach, who passed away at the age of 42 in 2021 after a long battle with breast cancer. Ditty Qualls, who grew up and lived in Ashland, Ky., owns a record 38 USTA Pro Circuit titles.