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.
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.
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 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