With the U.S. Open in full swing in Flushing, N.Y., the question of who the next great American tennis champion may be has arisen once again. In the latest edition of the St. Augustine Record (Florida), Jean Desdunes, a longtime veteran of the United States Tennis Association's (USTA) Player Development program, sat down with reporter Will Brown to discuss the question. In the article, Desdunes highlights IMG Academy's own Michael Mmoh as one player with the potential to take the mantle of America's next great tennis champion.
IMG Academy's Mika Liu continues to rake in the accolades. The rising sophomore was named by the USGA as one of only three members of the 2014 USA World Junior Girls’ Team. The team will represent the USA at the inaugural World Junior Girls’ Team Championship, to be held Sept. 26 through Oct. 1, 2014, at Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham, Ontario, Canada. Joining Liu at the event are 16-year old Megan Khang of Rockland, Mass. and 15-year old Angel Yin of Arcadia, Calif.
Over the weekend, IMG Academy student-athlete Whitney Osuigwe was on the winning team of the second annual Coupe Le Blanc, held in Quebec, Canada. The draw in the international event is limited to 24 boys and 24 girls from 16 countries, and alongside fellow American Victoria Hu, Osuigwe went on to take top honors at the event. Osuigwe and Hu's team USA steamrolled the competition, easing past France, Quebec, Spain, Indonesia and South Africa in the group stage.
The draws for the 2014 U.S. Open Junior Tournament will not be revealed until later this week, but one wild card entrant in this year's event will be IMG Academy's Ingrid Neel. Neel earned the wild card entry after a recent top-six finish at the USTA 16-18s Nationals in San Diego, Calif. Earlier this year, Neel earned her first career ITF title at the Grade 4 Metropalia Open in Coral Gables in April, and won her second title at the Grade 4 International Grass Court Championships in Haverford, Pa. in June. The Rochester, Minn.
When the U.S. Open gets underway in Flushing, N.Y., one IMG Academy alumna, Danielle Collins, will make her Grand Slam debut after being awarded a wild card entry by the USTA. The wild card was awarded after Collins won the 2014 NCAA singles championship, becoming the first woman in University of Virginia (UVa) history to earn the coveted crown. The week prior to the Open, Collins returned to IMG Academy for training to fine tune her game before making the trip to New York.
IMG Academy trainee Libania Grenot has taken her seat at the table among the world's elite in the women's 400m dash, earning the gold medal in the women's 400m dash at the 22nd European Athletics Championships on Aug. 16. At the annual event in Zurich, Switzerland, Grenot paced the field with a time of 51.10s, .26s ahead of second place Ukraine's Zemlhak Olha and .28s in front of third place Terrero Indira of Spain. Grenot was born in Cuba of Italian descent, and runs for Italy.
The IMG Academy Varsity Baseball season does not get underway until the spring, but our own L.T. Tolbert added a big accolade to his resume, earning MVP honors at the 2014 Wrigley Field Under Armour Game. It was a low-scoring affair with the Americans defeating the Nationals, 2-1, with a two-run rally in the eighth inning. Tolbert drove in the winning run to seal up MVP honors.
Nisha Rajamohan of Connecticut is one of the newest enrollees at IMG Academy. The intrepid junior tennis player has stayed busy over the summer off the court. Rajamohan has overcome the odds in a unique way, born with only half of a right arm. She has not let her disability stand in her way of achieving her goals. A year ago, Rajamohan spent time camping at IMG Academy.