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Southern

Junior Hispanic Coaches: Heritage and Goals

Ron Cioffi | September 27, 2021

The Ozaki Southern Junior Cup invites our nine states to send 24 players from the 12s-18s for a high-level team competition. With three coaches for each state, there were four with a Hispanic background. Two of them spoke about what their heritage meant to their tennis and goal of attracting more Hispanics to tennis.  

 

Arkansas coach Manual Cervantes, who is originally from Mexico, fondly remembered two great players from his homeland, Rafael Osuna and Pancho Gonzales. He also talked about the high cost of supporting a top junior. Also, he lives in Bentonville, AR., and noted how the new USTA tournament format makes it easier for juniors to play in other sections.

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Representing Kentucky is Roberto Asapillaga, Director of High Performance for the Louisville Tennis Club. He grew up playing on clay in Santiago, Chile. He talked about the USTA’s outreach to parks and recreation programs and how it will help capture more Hispanic players of all levels.

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