The youngest and brightest stars in tennis played in the fifth annual “Little Mo” Internationals at the historic West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills in late August. Approximately 180 players from 15 countires participated in the “Little Mo”. To view all results, please visit: www.littlemoforesthills.com
Congratulations to all the winners:
Boys 12- Andres Mercedes (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic)
Boys 11- Kevin Edengren (Stockholm, Sweden)
Boys 10- Jordan Reznik (Great Neck, New York)
Boys 9- Yubel Ubri (Miami Beach, Florida)
Boys 8- Zen David Uehling (Alpine, New Jersey)
Boys 8 (green dot)- Sebastian Bielen (Glen Cove, New York)
Girls 12- Olivia Lincer (Windsor, Connecticut)
Girls 11- Theadora Rabma (Port Washington, New York)
Girls 10- Isabella Marquart (Pewaukee, Wisconsin)
Girls 9- Akasha Urhobo (Lauderhill, Florida)
Girls 8- JoAnna Kennedy (Denver, Colorado)
Girls 8 (green dot)- Kayla Moore (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
“What I like most about Little Mo…” said Jordan Reznik, Boys 10 winner. “Is that I get to make new friends from different countries and am able to keep in touch with them.”
The “Little Mo” Sportsmanship Awards were given to Olivia Zuba (Morganville, New Jersey) and Liam Carpenter (Greebrae, California). The Kindness Awards were presented to JoAnna Kennedy (Denver, Colorado) and Jesse Hubbs (Long Beach, New York).
The festivities began with an exciting tennis clinic with prizes at The West Side on Sunday, August 21. The Opening Ceremony was held later that day with the players parading onto the stadium court waving their country flags. Callie Todd sang the national anthem and former “Little Mo” champion Jamie Loeb (#224 WTA) was the guest speaker. Maureen Connolly’s daughter, Cindy Brinker Simmons, and granddaughter, Connolly Bottum were also on hand to speak to the players and present the trophies.
Maureen “Little Mo” Connolly was known for her good sportsmanship on and off the court. To honor her legacy, the “Little Mo” offers colorful “Mo Coins” to players who display good sportsmanship, help others, and are respectful and kind. It is also a “Little Mo” tradition that players exchange a small give that represents their city, state or country with their first round opponent. The players enjoy the gift exchange, as they are able to meet a new friend on the first day of play.
“I think the best part about the Little Mo tournaments is that they have trophies, “ said 10-year old participant Malik Trail. “And they also reward you for doing well and showing sportsmanship.”
A fun player party was also held for all “Little Mo” players and parents. The activities included laser tag and a video game trailer. A beach tennis tournament was held for players whereby the winners received a complimentary beach tennis set including a net and two racquets from Beach Tennis USA.
The “Little Mo” tournaments are sponsored by the Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation in memory of its tennis champion namesake Maureen Connolly. Known by her nickname, “Little Mo”, she was the first woman to win the Grand Slam of tennis at only 18 years of age in 1953. Maureen Connolly is still the youngest and the only American woman to have accomplished this magnificent feat. The “Little Mo” is designed to be fun and provide good competition for the younger player at the sectional, regional, national and international level. The foundation has promoted junior tennis development for the past 45 years and continues to benefit countless numbers of boys and girls throughout the country.
A special congratulations to JoAnna Kennedy (Girls 8), Akasha Urhobo (Girls 9), and Yubel Ubri (Boys 9) for winning their divisions at the “Little Mo” Internationals, the second leg of the “Little Mo” Slam. All three players will be competing at the “Little Mo” Internationals in Florida at the PGA National Resort & Spa in early December for the third and final leg. If they win their division in Florida, each player will take home the tallest trophy in tennis- 6’ tall.
Former "Little Mo" Champion Ryan Harrison was on hand at West Side Tennis Club on the finals of the "Little Mo" Internationals, as he was playing with the San Diego Aviators in the Mylan World TeamTennis Finals.
New York Tennis Magazine Staff
The New York Tennis Magazine Staff is comprised of tennis pros, tennis coaches and tennis writers