US Open Champion Coco Gauff unveils US Open Legacy Initiative’s first major project

Alexandra Eala bows out of Miami Open

by Jay Domingo, PDM Staff Writer

Coco Gauff poses with a sign during the unveiling of courts that have been refurbished as part of the US Open Legacy Initiative at Pompey Park in Delray Beach, Florida | Photo by Manuela Davies/USTA

NEW YORK—Coco Gauff, the 2023 US Open Women’s singles champion, joined the US Tennis Association (USTA) and the City of Delray Beach leaders to unveil the refurbished tennis courts at Pompey Park.

The Pompey Park courts are the first major project completed in the US Open Legacy Initiative, created to celebrate Gauff’s 2023 US Open Women’s singles title. The USTA has pledged $3 million to refurbish tennis courts across the country as part of the initiative.

According to USTA, Gauff, a Delray Beach native, grew up playing on the Pompey Park courts as a child, and her family’s ties to the park and the surrounding community span generations.

Coco Gauff poses with USTA Executives Martin Blackman, Stacey Allaster, Dr. Brian Hainline, Lew Sherr, and Craig Morris during the unveiling of courts that have been refurbished as part of the US Open Legacy Initiative at Pompey Park in Delray Beach, Florida. | Photo Manuela Davies/USTA

“I strongly believe that tennis can continue to become a more accessible sport, and I would like to thank the USTA for continuing to commit to doing so,” said Gauff in a media release at Wednesday’s event. Investing in public parks and our youth is very important. I had a huge dream, and this city, my family, and my community supported that, and now I’m in the position to help maybe spark that dream in another kid.”

City of Delory Mayor Shelly Petrolia praised Gauff as a true Delray Beach success story. “Coco has captured the hearts of tennis enthusiasts worldwide with her remarkable talent, determination, and sportsmanship, and we here at home could not be more proud.”

The USTA said the US Open Legacy Initiative is part of its efforts to support tennis infrastructure through facility enhancements and construction, led by the USTA’s Tennis Venue Services (TVS) department. Since 2005, the USTA has awarded more than $17 million in TVS grants, impacting more than 43,000 tennis courts and more than $610 million of infrastructure development.

In addition to specific projects selected by Gauff, such as Pompey Park, the US Open Legacy Initiative will support any project that involves resurfacing courts at a public facility that meets the TVS grant criteria. Completed projects will receive a sign commemorating the fact that the courts were refurbished in honor of Gauff’s US Open victory.

Philippines tennis ace bows out at Miami Open.

Meanwhile, Alex Eala, 19, who won her first junior singles title at the 2022 US Open in New York City, came close to entering the main draw of the 2024 Miami Open when she encountered cramps against Colombia’s Emkliana Arango on Monday, March 18, dropping her match in three sets, 6-2, 5-7, 1-6.

“I am disheartened to say the least, that I had to finish the match being wheeled off the court,” she said in an Instagram post on Wednesday.

“Nevertheless, I take pride in the fact that I fought until the end. I leave here on a positive note and will be back at 100 percent in a few days,” she added. “I definitely still have so much more to give and will be back stronger and more experienced!”

Filipino tennis player Alex Eala arrives in Manila from the 2021 Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, on May 23, 2022, where she won three bronze medals in the competition’s tennis tournaments | Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The Women’s Tennis Association ranked Eala 171 on March 18, up five places from her previous career high of 176th on March 4.

She goes next to France to compete in the Open 3C Seine-et-Marne in the French town of Croissy-Beaubourg from March 25 to 31.

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