Marietta’s Laurel Park is hosting one of 21 “Little Mo” sectional tournament, on May 16-18 for players ages 8-11. The top four boys and girls finishers in each age group will advance to the “Little Mo” Regionals held at University of North Florida in Jacksonville in late July with a shot of advancing to nationals, which is in October in Austin, Texas.
Andy Roddick (1992) and Ryan Harrison (2000) are two notable “Little Mo” national champions.
Players who win all three tournaments are awarded a six-foot trophy for winning the “Little Mo” Grand slam.
The tournament is named after former tennis great Maureen Connolly, nicknamed “Little Mo.” At 18-years-old, she became the first woman to win all four grand slam tournaments in a calendar year and remains the youngest and only American to have won a grand slam.
After a horseback-riding accident prematurely ended her tennis career, she launched Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation for junior players who can’t afford to compete nationally and she ran the foundation before losing her battle with cancer in 1969 at the age of 34.
The “Little Mo is open to any player born in 2003 or later. Players won’t get any points toward their USTA rankings by playing in the tournament. Tournament director JP Weber said the event is designed for developing junior tennis, meeting new friends and winning prizes.
“They go the extra mile to make it a special event,” Weber said. “It’s not sanctioned on purpose. Children play because it’s a great tournament. They enjoy getting the trophies.”
The entry fee is $55 and the main draw is limited to 32 players in each age group and the deadline is today. Players are guaranteed at least two matches, and trophies are awarded to winners and runner-ups in each age group and