The West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, N.Y. hosted the eighth annual “Little Mo” Internationals earlier this summer, as some of the top junior tennis players from around the world came to New York to compete in the second leg of the “Little Mo” Slam.
The week-long event began with a free clinic put on by the pros at The West Side Tennis Club, where the “Little Mo” players had the opportunity to play on the famed grass courts of the historic club. After the clinic, the Opening Ceremony, where the players walk onto the court of Forest Hills Stadium holding the flags of their respective countries, took place and is always one of the highlights of the tournament, with the representation of so many different nations and cultures on full display.
That was followed by days of competitive tennis on the courts throughout the grounds, with sportsmanship and fair play at the heart of the competition. More than 130 different players from nine different countries (Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Japan, Mexico, Peru, South Africa, Venezuela and the United States) took part in singles, doubles and mixed doubles draws.
Below are the winners from each respective division:
Boys 12: Joseph Oyebog (Westport, Conn.)
Boys 11: Adrien Abarca (Chula Vista, Calif.)
Boys 10: Elliot Lifton (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Boys 9: Izyan Ahmad (Wayne, New Jersey)
Boys 8: Simon Lifton (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Boys 8 (green dot): Deniz Karabulut (Burlington, Canada)
Girls 12: Ilana Rosenthal (Kingston, Pa.)
Girls 11: Lucy Oyebog (Westport, Conn.)
Girls 10: Filipa Delgado (New York, New York)
Girls 9: Emma Palacio (Queens, New York / Peru)
Girls 8: Priscilla Sirichantho (Woodbridge, Conn.)
Girls 8 (green dot): Blake Chang (New York, New York)
Throughout the tournament, players can earn “Mo Coins” for being respectful and kind to others and demonstrating good sportsmanship, to honor the legacy of Maureen “Little Mo” Connolly, who was known for her sportsmanship both on and off the court. This year’s recipients of the Sportsmanship and Kindness Awards were:
Emma Palacio (Queens, New York / Peru)
Luke Jones (Dallas, Pennsylvania)
The third and final leg of the “Little Mo” Slam takes place in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. from December 6-11. Two players will be aiming to win the 2019 “Little Mo” Slam title after winning the first two legs of the series (the first leg took place in Newport Beach, Calif.).
Adrien Abarca of Chula Vista, Calif. and Simon Lifton of Los Angeles, Calif. will be seeking to capture the six-foot trophy, the tallest in junior tennis, for winning their divisions at all three tournaments.