In the most recent of JTCC’s outstanding performances in 2019, 15-year-old Robin Montgomery became one of the youngest Orange Bowl champions in tournament history on Sunday. The title catapulted her to a world #8 ranking, making Montgomery the youngest player in the ITF world top 10.
The #5-seed did not drop a set all week, capturing the title with a 7-6 (4), 6-3 win over Jana Kolodynska of Belarus. She is the only Orange Bowl champion since 2004 — the year Montgomery was born — to record straight-set victories in every match.
Montgomery joins the elite company of past Orange Bowl champions including Chris Evert, Caroline Wozniacki, Biance Andreescu, and Coco Gauff.
She becomes the eighth player in JTCC’s 20-year history to reach the top 10 of the ITF World Junior Rankings. Past JTCC players to achieve the feat include Usue Arconada, Trice Capra, Andrew Fenty, Mitchell Frank, Denis Kudla, Phillip Simmonds, and Frances Tiafoe, each of whom is originally from the Mid-Atlantic and has excelled in the collegiate or professional ranks.
The meteoric rise of Montgomery is nothing short of impressive. She finished 2017 with an ITF junior ranking of 1290. In 2018, she climbed over 1,000 spots to end the season at #123, and now, she closes 2019 at #8.
“2019 was an extraordinary year for JTCC players,” JTCC President and Senior Director of Tennis Vesa Ponkka said. “From players in the Future Champs program to those competing on the professional tours, there were extraordinary career high rankings and well-deserved awards won.”
Frances Tiafoe foreshadowed the year for so many players who have trained at JTCC since they were young when he progressed to the Australian Open quarterfinals and earned a career high ranking of #29.
Usue Arconada followed in Tiafoe’s footsteps with more professional success, claiming three ITF singles titles and two ITF doubles titles, winning the gold medal in women’s doubles at the Pan American Games, reaching her first WTA 125K finals in both singles and doubles, and attaining a career high world ranking of #134.
JTCC’s success at the collegiate level was led by Andrew Fenty, representing the University of Michigan, and Cameron Morra, representing the University of North Carolina. Both freshmen, Fenty was the ITA National Rookie of the Year, and Morra advanced to the semifinal round of the NCAA Singles Championships.
Current JTCC players in all age groups are continuing to reach new heights. Elise Wagle advanced to the semifinals of the Girls’ 16 Doubles National Hard Court Championships, and Kaylan Bigun was a semifinalist in the Boys’ 14 Singles National Hard Court Championships. Ekansh Kumar and Ryan Colby advanced to the semifinals of the Orange Bowl Boys’ 16 Doubles Championships, and Nico Pedraza reached the finals of the “Little Mo” Boys’ 10 Nationals.
“We’re extremely proud that our players reached new heights, following the JTCC mantra of ‘Trust Your Training,'” Ponkka said.