2007 Award - DeWitt Redgrave III Junior Achievement Award

DeWitt Redgrave III Junior Achievement Awards
Given in memory of DeWitt Redgrave, III, this award is presented annually to an outstanding Southern boy and girl ranked in the 18’s in recognition of their tennis performance and sportsmanship.

Eric Quigley
Pewee Valley, Ky

Eric Quigley, Pewee Valley, Ky., is not just known throughout the state for his skills on the tennis court, but also for his tremendous sportsmanship and the genuine kindness he displays. His tennis exploits are known by everyone who follows high school tennis in the Blue Grass, but those record books do not show his inner strength or his respect toward opponents. Those qualities make Quigley “one of the hardest working young men I have come across in Kentucky,” stated Dennis Emery, Quigley’s future coach once he joins the University of Kentucky men’s tennis team next fall.

“Other coaches and opponent’s parents are always telling me they are impressed with his great attitude, respect for the game and the sportsmanship he exhibits,” mimics Quigley’s high school coach, Wood McGraw. Only dropping two sets in three years, Quigley extended an undefeated record of over 30 straight wins in his high school career at South Oldham High School. He is currently ranked eighth in the nation among high school seniors listed on TennisRecruiting.net. With a 49-11 record on the year and three consecutive state high school singles championships, Quigley has hopes of winning a fourth in May; a feat last achieved 34 years ago by Gary Plock. The state also honored him when he became the first recipient of the Sam English Jr. Award which is given to a Kentucky junior dedicated to the sport of tennis and exhibits exemplary sportsmanship.

Quigley’s junior tennis career is every bit as impressive, as he was a member of Mills-Redgrave 2005 and 2006 teams, 2006 and 2007 Intersectional teams, and the doubles runner-up at the 2006 USTA Spring Supernational Championships. He has won five consecutive Joe Creason Qualifiers and is a four time winner of the Southern Indoor Closed. In 2007, Quigley was champion at the Boys 18 Southern Closed and the USTA Interscholastic Championships. He was tabbed the 2007 Junior Player of the Year by USTA Kentucky.

McGraw adds, “In 50 plus years as a player and coach, I have never seen a young man who better represents all that is wonderful about the great sport of tennis.”

Melanie Oudin
Marietta, GA

Melanie Oudin has had a magical run on the junior tennis circuit. Her 27 match winning streak on the ITF Junior Circuit helped her to rise to No. 4 in the world. Last fall she won four straight tournaments and knocked off the No. 1 player in the world along the way. The 16-year-old from Marietta, GA is on the brink of taking that most important step into the big leagues of professional tennis.

Her dream of becoming a professional tennis player may be just around the corner and she certainly has had the season to prove it. Although she had a sluggish start in 2007 with early-round losses at Wimbledon and the US Open junior division, she followed with four straight titles. She won the prestigious Eddie Herr International and reached the finals of the Orange Bowl losing to Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal. Despite the loss in the final, Oudin had a tremendous upset over No. 1 ranked Urszula Radwanska of Poland.

In the last three months of the year, Oudin boosted her world ranking from No. 64 to No. 4. She stepped up her play at ITF circuit events and improved her mental game in the process. Brian DeVilliers, Melanie’s coach, believes that she is ready for the next step.

“It is coming around nicely,” DeVilliers said. “She is showing instinctive play, mental maturity, tennis maturity and focus through tough matches.”

She got her first experience playing with the big dogs at the 2007 Infinite Energy Atlanta Slam hosted at the Gwinnett Arena in Atlanta, GA. Oudin faced off against Atlanta native, Ashley Harkleroad, in a one set exhibition prior to a Roddick/Ginepri showdown.