A total of eight young tennis players are representing The Bahamas at the 11th Annual ‘Little Mo’ International, presented by the Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation (MCB). The event is being held at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and features 473 junior tennis players from 52 different countries.
Representing The Bahamas are: BreAnn Ferguson (9), Kaylee Kanuka (12), Patrick Mactaggart (7), Jackson Mactaggart (9), Dave Griffin (10), Khai Rees (10), Michael Major (11) and Dentry Mortimer (12).
The ‘Little Mo’ International is one of the premier junior tennis tournaments for boys and girls ages eight to 14, bringing together the youngest and brightest stars in tennis from around the world. Many famous professional tennis players have participated in the ‘Little Mo’ program over the years,including Andy Roddick, Ryan Harrison, Taylor Townsend, Vasek Pospisil, Borna Coric, Madison Keys, Donald Young, Steve Johnson, Denis Kudla, Cici Bellis, Ana Konjuh and Belinda Bencic just to name a few. Roddick won the ‘Little Mo’ tourney in 1992 at 10 years of age and said “the Little Mo was my first big win.”
The tournament began last Friday with the opening ceremony. All the players marched into the stadium carrying their country flags. Chris Evert, an 18-time grand slam champion, was the guest speaker at the opening ceremony. Known as America’s sweetheart during the tennis boom in the 1970’s and 1980’s, Evert ended the year ranked No. 1 seven times in her career.
The ‘Little Mo’ tournaments are hosted by MCB in memory of its tennis champion namesake Maureen Connolly. Known by her nickname “Little Mo”, she was the first woman to win the calendar-year grand slam in 1953, wining all four major tournaments (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open) in the same year. She is still the only American woman and the youngest player ever at age 18 to have accomplished this magnificent feat. Only five players in the history of tennis (Maureen Connolly, Steffi Graf, Margaret Court, Rod Laver and Don Budge) have won the calendar-year grand slam.
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