Jack Kennedy added to his already excellent 2022 season by capturing two titles at the annual USTA National Clay Court Boys 14s Championships in Dothan, Ala.
The Huntington native who trains at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy (JMTA) left Alabama with two Gold Balls as he won the singles and doubles titles.
“I tried to make sure I stayed calm and patient throughout the whole week,” said Kennedy. “It’s a long week, and the conditions were very tough, so I just had to take my time, and conserve my energy as the tournament went on.”
Kennedy won all seven of his singles matches in straight sets including a 6-2, 6-4 victory over California’s Gus Grumet in the championship match.
To back that up, Kennedy paired with fellow Long Islander Sebastian Bielen to win the doubles title. The pairing, seeded sixth, upended the top-seeds in a third-set tiebreaker in the quarterfinals, and would go on to win the semifinal and final matches in straight sets.
“We’ve been friends for as long as I can remember, and that friendship really helps bring chemistry to our doubles team,” said Kennedy. “We really understand each other’s games and styles, and it’s really why we’ve been successful and work well together.”
Kennedy has seen his game develop a lot throughout this year, and his results continue to demonstrate that.
“My game has developed a lot through training with my coach Greg Lumpkin and trainer Aaron Lopez at JMTA,” Kennedy added. “I hope we can keep on training like this and get more titles at some of the other national tournaments.”
Up next for Kennedy is a trip to the Czech Republic to compete for the United States team at the ITF World Junior Tennis Finals next week. Kennedy helped the US team advance past the regional round in Mexico last month against teams from Mexico, Guatamela and Canada.
In Prague, Kennedy will help lead the American team in a competition that features teams from Argentina, Bulgaria, Colombia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea and Switzerland.
“I’m really looking forward to it. It’s such a cool opportunity that not a lot of people get, and it’s great knowing that I got it through my hard work and dedication,” he said. “It’s going to be fun seeing the team again, and I’m excited to represent my country and try to do it proud.”
Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.