The Racket

The Racket 🎾

NYJTL x Naomi Osaka

Last week, participants from the Community Tennis Program got the opportunity to meet Naomi Osaka, reigning champion at the US Open and the Australian Open, and the first Asian player to hold the top ranking in singles.

NYJTL partnered with Laureus Sports, an organization founded under the Patronage of Nelson Mandela, and their Sport for Good initiative that uses sport as a powerful and cost-effective tool to help children and young people overcome violence, discrimination, and disadvantage in their lives. This year, Osaka was awarded the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year.

NYJTL kids had the opportunity to hit with Naomi on the newly refurbished Detective Keith L. Williams Park in Jamaica, Queens, where her journey as a tennis player began.  It was an inspiring day, and one that our kids will remember for a lifetime.

Community Tennis

This summer the CTP program served nearly 4,500 players at 23 sites, in all five NYC boroughs! The kids had the opportunity to work on their tennis skills, get exercise, and make some new friends. Congratulations to our CTP coaches, who coach from the heart!

ACES Afterschool

This school year, the ACES program ran summer programs at 28 school sites with full enrollment targets fulfilled. 23 schools received above average rating, validating NYJTL’s leadership role in providing excellent afterschool programming. Way to go ACES team!

The Cary Leeds Center

Nearly 1,500 campers spent their summer days keeping active on court, making new tennis friends, and perfecting their game! Campers worked on their technique in the development level and honed their tournament play in the high performance level.

Taste of Tennis

NYJTL partnered with our friends at Taste of Tennis to bring their food truck of paletitas, made by Chef Fanny Gerson, to the Cary Leeds Center on August 11. The kids loved their cold, sweet treats after a long day of tennis!

Getting Out On the Court

Dear Patrons,

We are following the updates, just like you and here is what we know.

NY State Update
Governor Andrew Cuomo includes, and calls out, tennis as a socially-distant and safe activity to resume.

While New York State has given the ok, we are bound by the guidelines of NYC and the NYC Parks Department. We are in discussion with them.

Next Steps
In the immediate: our bubble will come down, our building will remain closed to patrons, and all staff returning to work will have their temperature checked and be required to remain six feet apart and wear masks at all times within the facility.

What That Means for You
As soon as we receive approval, we will prepare to begin phase one of our reopening by making our court rentals available and offering one-on-one private lessons.

We will keep you updated and can’t wait for your safe and happy return!

Cary Leeds Center Temporary Closing

Dear Cary Leeds Center Families,


In view of Coronavirus health advisories from CDC and NY health officials, NYJTL will be closing the Cary Leeds Center at 8 pm tonight, Monday, March 16.  Your health and safety are our number one priority.

  • Our customer service center will remain open but staff will work remotely, so do not hesitate to call
  • We will make all efforts to reschedule missed programming as soon as we are able to reopen and will communicate with you as we learn more

We look forward to serving you in-person in the near future and until then please follow us on Facebook for tips on how to get the daily recommended amounts of exercise for your family at home during this time.

Yours sincerely,

George Guimaraes, NYJTL CEO and President
Liezel Huber, Cary Leeds Center Executive Director of Tennis

Inaugural Tennis For America Program

NYJTL is proud to announce that it is one of the six nationally recognized organizations who will work in conjunction with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) to help address the issues of poverty through tennis in the United States.  NYJTL is looking for three recent college graduates or current seniors to fill positions with New York Junior Tennis & Learning and the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Education from June 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021. Recent graduates or seniors will have the opportunity to work with under-resourced children in one of the five boroughs and to help NYJTL carry out its mission to develop the character of young people through tennis and education for a lifetime of success on and off the court.

Why should you apply to be a Tennis for America Fellow?

If you believe in making a difference and don’t back down from a challenge, then this program is for you!  This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play a part in making a difference in the lives of NYC youth through tennis.  Whether you want to learn more about nonprofits, get a better understanding of the tennis industry, or make life-long connections, then this is the program for you. 


  • VISTA Living Allowance
  • Each VISTA member gets to choose an end of service benefit: A cash payout of $1,800 or an education award of $6,195
  • Housing
  • Relocation Stipend – $750 + .24 cent per mile for those relocating more than 50 miles from partnering site
  • Mileage assistance or bus/train monthly pass
  • Orientation/Professional Development – Phoenix, Arizona (June 1-5)
  • Continuing Education – ITA College Coaches Convention, Naples, Florida (December 2020), with all expenses paid by ITA
  • Graduation Ceremony – US Open (August 2021), with all expenses paid by ITA
  • Individual Mentor
  • The development of a strong network of Tennis For America colleagues to offer support during the year of service and for many years afterwards
  • Exposure to and experience with critical 21st century skills, including: non-profit strategy, teaching, problem solving and communication skills
  • Networking opportunities and collaboration with a large range of stakeholders.

What are the requirements to apply?

  • Graduating from an ITA Member Institution in May, 2020 or have graduated form an ITA member institution anytime in 2019 or 2018
  • At least 21 years old by June 1st, 2020
  • Member of a Competitive Tennis Team at NCAA D I, D II, D III or NAIA ITA member program for a minimum of two years (current or former Tennis on Campus team members are eligible to apply)
  • U.S. citizen or national or lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder)
  • Available for a full year of service from June 1st, 2020 to May, 31st, 2021 
  • Able to pass all necessary background checks and clearances to work with children under the age of 18

If you think this is the program for you then read more about the exciting pilot project and submit your application here.

My Philosophy on Coaching High Performance Juniors

Coach Ahsha Rolle believes that the best way to develop high performance junior players is “to analyze their personality, body type, athletic ability, and natural attributes.  Analyzing these qualities helps me break down the appropriate game style that would be suited for the specific player and gives me the ability to guide and craft his or her game”.

In the January – February 2020 issue of New York Tennis Magazine, Coach Ahsha Rolle discusses the different methods that she uses to help juniors develop their skills and her experience coaching Stephanie Yakoff at the Orange Bowl and Winter Nationals!

Click here and go to page 60 to read the article.

Welcome to New York: TB10 Challenger Launches Stateside

London, January 15th, 2019 – Tie Break Tens, the fast-paced, short-form tennis format, is excited to announce the launch of their grassroots tennis initiative, TB10 Challenger, in New York City this January.  Designed to increase participation in tennis across age groups, TB10 Challenger tournaments will be held across all five NYC boroughs over the next few months.

Launched as a tennis format in 2015, Tie Break Tens is a quick-fire version of the sport that anyone can play. Unlike conventional tennis, Tie Break Tens matches are comprised solely of tie breaks – no games, no sets, just exhilarating ten- point breakers in which every point counts.  Tie Break Tens are working in partnership with the New York Junior Tennis & Learning (NYJTL) programme to deliver tournaments across the city during January and February 2019.   Leading sporting goods companies, Wilson and FILA, will partner the Challenger Series USA and will support the roll-out of the tournaments with fantastic prizes for players, merchandise, equipment and marketing support.

The competition will heat up on February 1-2 with tournaments taking place at the prestigious Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning in The Bronx.  Eight lucky players will earn the opportunity to fly to Indian Wells for an all expenses trip of a lifetime to the BNP Paribas Open. Finalists will have the opportunity to live like a professional player and compete on one of the world-renowned courts at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

“We are delighted to expand the Challenger into America, following a successful launch in the UK which saw hundreds of young people enjoying competing in tennis, often for the first time.  Our main objective is to drive participation in tennis through our quick, fun format because anyone can play whatever level of tennis they might be.” said Felicity Barnard, CEO of Tie Break Tens.

George Guimaraes, NYJTL CEO & President said, “We welcome the TB10 Challenger initiative and hope to use the player-friendly format as a way to drive tennis participation, inspire healthy competition, and create flexible short-form match play for our children. We are looking forward to getting more children out on the court and seeing TB10 tournaments roll out across NYC”.

As part of the strategy, TB10 are encouraging players to upload content to their website and the TB10 PLAY zone which will host scores, photos and videos.  TB10 will be awarding participants with fantastic prizes, including signed kit from previous TB10 players Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal.

For further information on Tie Break Tens or to enter the Challenger Series USA please contact:

Joe Ceriello, NYJTL Marketing & Communications, (917) 693-6672;

About Tie Break Tens:

Tie Break Tens is a quick-fire version of tennis that anyone can play. Unlike conventional tennis matches, Tie Break Tens matches are comprised solely of tie breaks – no games, no sets, just exhilarating ten- point breakers in which every point counts.

The Tie Break Tens series sees world-class players going head to head in fast-paced, action-packed knock out tournaments at prestigious venues around the globe for winner-takes-all prizes of $250,000 each. So far, TB10s has visited London, Vienna, Madrid, Melbourne and New York City.

For more information, please visit  or email us at


About NYJTL:

The mission of New York Junior Tennis & Learning is to develop the character of young people through tennis and education for a lifetime of success on and off the court.  Since 1971, NYJTL has changed lives through tennis, education, healthy living, and character development programs.  Today, it is the largest youth tennis and education non-profit in the nation, reaching more than 85,000 K-12 New York City youth.

NYJTL celebrates the diversity of the children who participate in every program, providing 3,000,000 hours of year-round programming that serves youth from all five boroughs.  During the critical summer months, NYJTL operates in 39 community tennis sites.  All NYJTL Community Tennis and Afterschool programs are offered at no cost to its participants.

In June 2015, the $26.5 million Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning opened its doors as the flagship home of NYJTL in the heart of the Bronx.  The Cary Leeds Center provides more than 6,000 hours of free tennis court time annually to the community’s under resourced youth. Last year more than 15,000 players walked through its doors for play and programming.