By Brent Shearer, Special to TPN
Bronx, New York (August 15, 2022) – Julia Ivanov, a participant in New York Junior Tennis and Learning’s rigorous Intensive Training Program, is looking forward to working as a ball-kid at this week’s women’s 60K Bronx Open.
Julia lives in downtown Brooklyn and is a 13-year- old rising eighth grader at PS 206. When she has the time, she participates in many of PS 206’s after-school programs. She hopes to go to Brooklyn Tech in Ft. Greene for high school.
Julia has been working out at NYJTL’s Cary Leeds flagship site for two years.
Like many tennis players, Julia was introduced to the game by her father. Her favorite players are Maria Sharapova and Naomi Osaka. She likes the combination of tennis and fun that she gets at NYJTL. She notes that even though she has made a lot of friends while participating in the program, all that ends when she has to play a match against another NYJTL player.
Julia said that for now she is the best player in her family, but she will no doubt face challenges in upcoming years from her two brothers, Gregory, 10, and Leonardo, 8, who are also participants in the NYJTL Cary Leeds program.
The Brooklyn teen said that the off-court parts of the NYJTL have been as valuable as her work on-court. “I’m a shy person. I used to be scared to ask people for things I needed. But the Life Skills classes we take at Cary Leeds have helped me to speak out and become a leader.”
She said she enjoys the up-close view of the matches that being a ball kid provides. “It’s a lot of fun and you get a great view of the matches.”
The NYJTL’s Bronx Open runs this week and is free. New York area fans are encouraged to come out and watch the matches and if they’re lucky, watch this fleet-footed Brooklyn teen chase down and deliver balls to the event’s players.