USTA Girls 18s’ national champion CiCi Bellis, of Atherton, Calif., and Aron Hiltzik, of Hinsdale, Ill., were honored with the inaugural US Open Junior Sportsmanship Awards, presented to the junior boy and girl who best demonstrate excellent sportsmanship at this summer’s USTA National Championships. The awards were presented Saturday by USTA Chairman, CEO and President Dave Haggerty and USTA board member and former Top 10 player Chanda Rubin.
The USTA started a Sportsmanship Committee in 2011. Its charge is to educate and inspire youngsters and their parents to develop and exhibit a high degree of sportsmanship and an attitude of fair play and mutual respect on and off the tennis court. Underlying the charge is the ethical imperative that fairness is more important than winning.
Bellis, 15, is the USTA Girls’ 18s national champion – the youngest since Lindsay Davenport, in 1991 – which earned her wild card into the US Open women’s singles main draw. She opens against No. 12 Dominika Cibulkova.
Hiltzik, 18, is ranked No. 3 nationally in the USTA Boys’ 18s rankings. He is headed to play college tennis at the University of Illinois, where his brother, Jared, was an Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American as a sophomore last season. Aron will play in next week's US Open Junior Championships.