QUEENS, NY — Rohan Belday, a seventh grader at Liberty Middle School in West Orange, was recently honored for achieving the No. 2 ranking in the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Eastern boys 12s division during the USTA Eastern Junior Awards Gala at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, NY. As of today, Belday is now ranked No. 1 in his division and No. 19 nationally.
USTA Eastern Section is a not-for-profit community service organization whose mission is to promote and develop the growth of tennis. The gala, held on opening day of the 2018 US Open this summer, honored the top three male and female performers in each age group, who were all presented with plaques acknowledging their achievements.
“It is great to see the results of my hard work,” said Belday. “I was training and traveling for tournaments throughout the school year and I in all honors classes at Edison Middle School. It was tough to balance the schoolwork and the tennis training.”
Former professional tennis player and USTA president and board chair Katrina Adams served as a guest speaker as well as former professional tennis player and Tennis Channel broadcaster Justin Gimelstob, who is a member of the Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame. Adams is also the executive director of the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program in New York City and is currently a member of the USTA Eastern Section.
“We are so fortunate to have the US Open in our backyard,” said Julie Bliss Beal, senior director of competitive tennis. “We love that our junior players and their families get to celebrate their achievements at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center, where the best in American and international tennis play and compete. Parents and kids alike find it meaningful to celebrate these players achievements during Day One at the US Open.”
Belday thanked teachers and principals at the middle school and at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School for their continued support throughout his journey.