Young area tennis players, all participants of Bucks County Tennis Association programs, recently participated in a Net Generation “Kids On Court” activation at the 2022 US Open in Flushing, New York.
Twenty-four athletes (and two alternates), led by BCTA coach Steve Johnson and assisted by BCTA coach Craig Batten, were part of an on-court tennis demonstration on Arthur Ashe Stadium — the largest tennis stadium in the world — prior to the start of Casper Rudd’s (the eventual US Open men’s finalist) Labor Day Sunday match. The Rudd match was followed by that of American teenage tennis phenom Coco Gauff.
Maggie Lin, of Levittown, tossed the coin prior to the men’s match and then posed for a photo with Rudd and his opponent.
Parents of the youths expressed their excitement over the special occasion. “It truly was a memorable day that we will never forget,” said Stacey Malicki, of Doylestown. Daniella Munn, of Warrington, added, “[It was] an incredible experience for our family. Our son smiled from ear to ear throughout the day, and the event further deepened his love and interest in the sport.”
Athletes were invited based on the recommendation of their respective BCTA public park tennis coach and hailed from municipalities throughout Bucks County. “The kids and families were all terrific,” said Johnson. “Being at the US Open was wonderful itself, but the kids playing on Ashe Stadium was just amazing.”
Kids on Court, part of the USTA’s youth tennis brand Net Generation, gave more than 1,000 youth tennis players from across the country the opportunity to play on the iconic courts of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Activations took place prior to the first 10-day sessions on each of the US Open show courts: Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium, Grandstand and Court 17, as well as Courts 5, 11 and 12. They were also held in Arthur Ashe Stadium prior to four selected night sessions. Now in its fourth year, the Net Generation “Kids On Court” has expanded each of the past two years to include more courts and more sessions, impacting a greater number of youth tennis players from across the country.
This year is the first one in which BCTA athletes participated. The BCTA, a national and regional award-winning nonprofit, provides community-based tennis programming in partnership with local municipalities/school districts at over two dozen outdoor (and some indoor) public sites throughout Bucks County. A major advocate of youth and adult tennis as a whole, the BCTA annually services over 2,000 participants countywide. Visit buckscountytennis.usta.com for more information.
Those who participate include (pictured from L): Jason McFadden, Quakertown; Matthew Lynch, Warminster; Lucas Munn, Warrington; Annika Racharla, Furlong; Ben Davey, New Hope; Brighton Schmidt, Doylestown; Ethan Escoto, Doylestown; Elliot Horner, Doylestown; Kayla Malicki, Doylestown; Aayush Patel, Warrington; Leo Vazquez, Yardley; Lilly Cosenza, Richboro; Olivia Yoon, Chalfont; Sofia Corbin, Willow Grove; Sloane Davey, New Hope; Eric Escoto, Doylestown; Keira Check, Doylestown; Jin Yoon, Chalfont; Maggie Lin, Levittown; Jack Boylan, Doylestown; Grace Byrne, Warrington; Nancy Lin, Levittown; Dominic Ginnetti, Perkasie; Maria Jin, Newtown; Coach Craig Batten (rear L), Warminster; and Coach Steve Johnson (rear R), Doylestown. Not pictured, alternates Lochlin Schmidt, Doylestown; and Riley Horner, Doylestown.