Local Tennis Players Hit The U.S. Open


For nine-year-old Celeste Jefts, it was a moment this young tennis player won’t soon forget. Jefts, from Wantagh, participated in the ceremonial coin toss at the U.S. Open tennis championships at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, Queens.

Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov (far right) reaches to shake the hand of Wantagh’s Celeste Jefts (second from left), prior to his match against American Steve Johnson (far left). Dimitrov is the 17th-ranked player in the world. Jefts participated in the ceremonial coin toss.(Photo courtesy of James Rowan)

Jefts met Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov and American Steve Johnson at center court and flipped a coin to see who would serve first in the men’s singles match. Dimitrov won the coin toss and the match. Dimitrov the 17th-ranked player in the world, defeated Johnson in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2 and 6-2.

Carefree Coach Kristen Cassidy
(Photo courtesy of James Rowan)

The Carefree Racquet Club in Merrick sent 23 aspiring tennis players to the U.S. Open to participate in a clinic on the sport’s hallowed ground. The players, ages six to 12, participated in the Net Generation program sponsored by the USTA. Carefree youth coaches Kristen Cassidy, of Wantagh, and Luis Vivas, of Huntington, ran the clinic at the Open.

Carefree Coach Luis Vivas
(Photo courtesy of James Rowan)

Carefree Racquet Club, which is run by Kathy Miller, offers youth tennis programs from ages three to 18. The junior development program is directed by Ben Marks.

—James Rowan is an Anton Media Group contributor

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