The International Tennis Hall of Fame and FILA have launched a new partnership focused on junior tennis development. The partnership will feature multiple junior invitational tournaments hosted on the historic Hall of Fame property, a new junior ambassador program, and ongoing involvement with the Hall of Fame Tennis Club's junior tennis program.
"FILA has been a tremendous partner to the Hall of Fame and to the sport of tennis for decades. The mission of the International Tennis Hall of Fame is to preserve and promote the rich history of our sport, largely in part so that the sport's history be an effective tool for inspiring its future. Through the stories of the Hall of Famers, in our museum, and in our programs, younger players get a sense of what greatness is possible," commented Todd Martin, International Tennis Hall of Fame CEO. "This new partnership with FILA provides an important opportunity to bring junior players to the place where tennis history is celebrated and to educate them about the successes of those who have come before them in the sport. We are very excited by this new partnership and the future opportunities it will offer."
"Through FILA's partnership with the Hall of Fame Tennis Club and other premier tennis clubs and academies, we are working to help to grow the game for the next generation of tennis players," said Jennifer Estabrook, Chief Operating Officer of FILA North America. "Our partnerships and programs like the Junior Tennis Mentor program, which connects professional tennis players with juniors, are a vital part of FILA's efforts in the sport, with the intent to encourage and inspire the future stars of the game."
The new FILA and International Tennis Hall of Fame partnership kicked off at the first FILA Junior Tennis Indoor Invitational at the Hall of Fame Tennis Club on April 16 & 17. The tournament drew eighteen juniors from around New England. The field included three players representing the Hall of Fame Tennis Club, as well as fifteen players from throughout Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire who are ranked in the top-30 in USTA New England section's Under 12 division. The players competed in a two-day tournament on the new indoor courts at the Hall of Fame Tennis Club and toured the museum at the International Hall of Fame.
In the girls competition, Noor Carrington of South Hadley, Mass. (ranked. No. 5 in New England U12) defeated Riya Singh of Braintree, Mass. (No. 3 in New England U12). The score was 6-3.
In the boys competition, Zach Schwartz of Newon, Mass. (No. 1 in New England U12) defeated Prem Parth Dave of Norwalk, Conn. (No. 3 in New England U12). The score of the boys final was also 6-3.
As winners of the first tournament Carrington and Schwartz have been named ITHF x FILA Junior Ambassadors. They will receive FILA and International Tennis Hall of Fame co-branded tennis apparel and performance footwear.
The Hall of Fame will host a second invitational tournament in July. The tournament will be held in conjunction with the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships and will offer the junior players the opportunity to compete on the historic grass courts of the Hall of Fame, just prior to the ATP pros competing on the same courts. Additionally, the partnership will be activated year-round with FILA apparel and special programming for the junior players who play at the Hall of Fame Tennis Club.
In addition to this partnership with the International Tennis Hall of Fame, FILA is highly engaged in providing other valuable experiences for young athletes, offering on-court programming and sponsoring academies like the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Maryland; Van der Meer Tennis in Hilton Head, South Carolina; and Indian Wells Tennis Garden, in Indian Wells, California, home of the BNP Paribas Open. To further connect with junior players, FILA's Junior Tennis Mentor Program provides access to professional athletes like ATP World Tour player, Sam Querrey, who shares tips, advice and a perspective on the transition to professional tennis.
The new partnership extends FILA's long-time support of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, as FILA is also an active supporter of the museum at the Hall of Fame and the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, an ATP World Tour event.