Aug 31, 2018
Players from 28 nations spanning the globe, all vying for a spot in the U.S. Open Junior Tournament, converge at the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning. Thirty-two of the strongest boys and girls in each draw will play for one of eight spots into the main draw tournament. The final eight matches are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 1.
All match times for the tournament can be found at https://www.usopen.org/en_US/scores/schedule/index.html.
Assemblyman Michael Blake, NYJTL President & CEO George Guimaraes, and USTA Junior Tournament Director Lew Brewer gathered to welcome the first-round competitors on the new Victor Kiam Stadium Court. Young, rising American player Katrina Scott, scheduled to play the opening match on that stadium, hit the first "official" ball fed by Assemblyman Blake to symbolize the kick off of the tournament.
"The Cary Leeds Center is a state-of-the-art facility," said US Open Junior Tournament Director Lew Brewer. "It is more than capable of hosting world-class events and makes for a great host for the US Open Junior Qualifying Tournament."
The event attracts elite college coaches from all over the county scouting for talent to fill their next year's rosters.
"It's incredible being here," said Steve Denton, 1982 US Open Doubles Champion and head coach of Texas A&M, "I knew Cary Leeds from his Yale days and stayed with the Leeds family in 1976 while I was playing a collegiate tournament."
The move from the park courts outside of the National Tennis Center to its new home in the Bronx is receiving strong praise from the players and USTA staff.
NYJTL Board Member Carlos Cuevas, a long time Bronx resident and former NYC City Clerk, remembers "a time when no one would walk in this park, and it warms my heart to see the Bronx prosper and grow to such extraordinary heights".
"I want to thank the NYJTL and the USTA for introducing the great sport of tennis to a brand new audience in my district, while providing Bronx residents a unique opportunity to witness world-class tennis from the future generation of tennis champions firsthand," said State Senator Gustavo Rivera.
In addition, the Cary Leeds Center is hosting the "Little Mo" North Regionals, simultaneously utilizing all 22 courts in Crotona Park. The "Little Mo" brings in over 130 young competitors who will someday aspire to be compete a few courts over.
"Pairing these events serves as inspiration for our kids to dream big and set goals for the future," said MCB Foundation Tournament Operations Manager, Matt Cody.