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Off to the Big Apple

July 31, 2002 03:35 PM

by Kelly Mickelson

Jessica Morris of Lexington, KY is going to the US Open! No, the twelve year old will not be playing in the tournament, but she did win an opportunity to attend Arthur Ashe Kids' Day and the opening round of match play.

Earlier this summer, Jessica won the skills challenge competition during a USA Tennis Rock and Rally tennis event held in Lexington. The contest consisted of hitting a series of shots from different locations on the court in a timed situation. Her name was then drawn from a pool of all skills challenge winners to be one of twelve lucky kids from across the country to win a trip for two to attend Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day and the opening day at the US Open.

Jessica’s trip to the US Open will not even be her first trip to New York City this summer. She recently traveled to the city to participate on the Southern 12s USTA Zone team.

Jessica is excited to be returning to New York. “I’m looking forward to doing the skills challenge on Arthur Ashe Court. I’d like to walk around New York City and visit Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.”

Although Jessica has been playing tennis since she asked for lessons for her fifth birthday, her mother, Jessica Morris, believes winning the skills challenge gave Jessica incentive to improve even more. “Many people have commented on how Jessica’s taken her game up a whole other level and I think it’s because of her participation in the skills challenge.”

Founded in 1881, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in this country. In addition to owning the US Open and selecting members of the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, and Olympic teams, the USTA administers a variety of programs nationwide for players of all ages and ability levels. A not-for-profit organization, the association is divided into 17 sections, of which the USTA Southern Section is the largest. The 160,000 USTA members living in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee make up the USTA Southern Section, and account for approximately 25% of the total USTA membership. A professional staff housed in Norcross, GA carries out the USTA Southern Section's daily operations, but policy is formed and much of the organization's work is executed via a Board and committee structure of over 200 volunteers.

 

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