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.
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.
IMG Academy's own Sabine Lisicki now holds a special place in tennis history. The native of Troisdorf, Germany was honored as the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ holder for the fastest serve in Women's Tennis Association history when she blasted a 131 mph serve against Serbia's Ana Ivanovic on Tuesday, July 29. Lisicki, who reached the finals of Wimbledon in 2013, her career-best at a Grand Slam, will begin her bid for the U.S. Open title in Flushing N.Y.
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.
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.
IMG Academy's Hady Habib was standing tall at the recent Fergana Cup, held in Uzbekistan, Aug. 11-16. Only 15-years old, Habib took on the highly competitive Grade 3 event, and was unstoppable through the week. Habib, ranked #355 ITF entering the event, opened up by easily dispatching India's Garvit Batra, the #2 seed, 6-1, 6-4. Habib mowed down the field until reaching the semifinals, where he was tested by Turkey's Mert Zincirli in three sets.
IMG Academy student-athletes Oscar Janglin and David Mitchell dominated at the recent SVGTA ITF Junior International, held in St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Aug. 11-16. Janglin, a native of Sweden, dominated the singles tournament, only allowing a single match to reach a third set.
IMG Academy student-athlete David Mitchell scored the biggest win of his young career with his first-career ITF juniors title at Coca-Cola 2014 Junior ITF Tournament held in St. Lucia, Aug. 5-10. The 17-year old commanded the court at the event, easily knocking off his first two challengers in straight sets. The quarterfinals round saw Mitchell against his highest ranked opponent, fellow IMG Academy student-athlete Oscar Janglin, currently ranked #245 ITF. Janglin was in form in the first set, handing Mitchell a 2-6 loss.
Every week at least one athlete from each sport will earn the Gatorade G-Award/IMG Academy Athlete of the Week for displaying Heart, Hustle and Soul, and exhibiting a true desire to reach their true athletic potential. The IMG Academy Tennis winner of the Gatorade G-Award/IMG Academy Athlete of the Week Award is Isabella Copeland of Dallas, Texas.
1. How long have you been playing tennis for?
2. What is your favorite thing about IMG Academy and why?