The USTA Eastern Section was named the 2019 Team USA Player Development Section of the Year by the United States Tennis Association. In its press release announcing all the year’s award winners, the USTA stated:
“USTA Eastern has developed one of the strongest junior pipelines in the nation and has created incredible opportunities for junior competition. A number of USTA Eastern juniors had success at Grand Slam events in 2019, including Eliot Spizzirri (Greenwich, Conn.), who captured the boys’ doubles title at the US Open, Alexa Noel (Summit, N.J.), who made the Wimbledon girls’ singles final, and Cannon Kingsley (Northport, N.Y.), who reached the boys’ singles quarterfinals and doubles final at the Australian Open and the US Open boys’ singles semifinals. Eleven other USTA Eastern athletes participated in the 2019 US Open, headlined by Kristie Ahn (Upper Saddle River, N.J.), who reached the fourth round. Further, 15 Eastern juniors scored top results at national championships in 2019, with 11 capturing gold ball tournaments, including Stephanie Yakoff, who won the Junior Orange Bowl and also reached the Easter Bowl semifinals and Clay Court Finals in the Girls’ 14s division.
Last year, Eastern held 16 Early Development Camps under the direction of Richard Bowie, Todd Doran, Alex Cole, Sasha Bluestone and Kat Sevcikova, and 40 Eastern players received the opportunity to attend two Team USA Camps. The department also organized the second installment of the Big Apple International Cup, a team tournament that has top 12- and 14-and-under squads from Israel, Mexico, Spain and other countries across the globe facing off against each other.
'The Eastern Section always has a steady stream of players performing throughout the whole pathway, from top juniors nationally to the international level, and this showed in 2019,' said Johnny Parkes, Senior Manager, Player ID and Development. 'The Section exudes professionalism, dedication and commitment as they provide supplemental training and competitive opportunities for players, coaches and parents. A big congratulations to [Senior Director of Competition] Julie Bliss Beal and the entire Eastern Section for their support of the coaches, parents and players throughout the section as they work together developing players at every level of the pathway.'"