| By New York Tennis Magazine Staff


The 2018 Mayor’s Cup will mark the 30th straight year that New York Junior Tennis & Learning has hosted the tournament, the largest interscholastic tennis tournament in the country.

More than 600 participants representing 160 private, public and parochial schools in New York City compete in elementary, middle school and high school divisions.

The NYJTL Mayor's Cup runs from May 31 - June 9 and is free to participants. It includes 16 different team and individual events for beginners to experienced varsity athletes, all competing at the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning. Early round matches are played on 22 courts with the final varsity individual matches featured on the state-of-the art Victor Kiam and Pershing Square Stadium courts with viewing for more than 800 spectators.

"With the goal of breaking down all barriers to entry for NYC youth to play tennis, we are preparing to greatly expand the number of participants in the NYJTL Mayor's Cup," said George Guimaraes, NYJTL CEO and President.

The NYJTL Mayor's Cup will offer the innovative UTR (Universal Tennis Ranking) system for the first time. Among its many benefits, UTR is the ranking system used by college coaches to evaluate the talent of players hoping to continue their tennis careers at the intercollegiate level. 

"We are honored to work with NYJTL to provide student athletes with more access to tennis and more opportunities to play," said Mark Leschly, Universal Tennis Chairman & CEO.

In addition, through NYJTL's partnership with USTA Eastern, individual girls' and boys' quarterfinalists will receive free entries to the USTA Eastern College Showcase Day in November.

"We knew we had to get involved because getting more kids on the court and creating college opportunities for them is what we are all about," said Jenny Schnitzner, ED of USTA Eastern.

Kicking off the NYJTL Mayor's Cup on Saturday, June 2, 500 program participants, community members, and staff members will "spell out" "NYJTL" on the Cary Leeds Center courts. An aerial photograph will be taken signifying the impact that children playing the sport of tennis have in a community such as Crotona Park.

The NYJTL Mayor's Cup culminates on Saturday, June 9 with an awards show featuring live entertainment by NYJTL's ACES Afterschool dance troupe and singers performing today's hottest hits.

The award shows will celebrate scholar athletes, including:

►NYJTL Growth Award -The highest honor, given to the graduating senior(s) who have inspired others through their dedication to tennis and education

►USTA Eastern Sportsmanship Award - Presented to the NYJTL Mayor's Cup player(s) who have shown character and integrity while competing

►UTR "Impact Story" Award - Awarded to Mayor's Cup participant(s) who have created video submission(s) describing how tennis has impacted their lives

►NYPD Precinct 42 Service Award - Recognizing scholar athletes who have shown personal growth through their participation in the Cary Leeds Center Serve & Connect Program

►Victor Kiam "Going For It" Scholarship - Awarded to the NYJTL program participants who have demonstrated character and "grit"

►NYJTL Mayor's Cup Team and Individual Awards - Presented to each team and individual elementary, middle, and high school division winner and finalist

You can now apply to be in the NYJTL Mayor's Cup by visiting NYJTL.org/mayors-cup