The “Little Mo” tournaments have been my greatest experience of sport and life. Last year (2004), in Boys 8 age division, I won the Florida Sectionals and East Regionals and I was the finalist at the “Little Mo” Nationals. (It was the only match I lost in 2004 in all 8/9/10 age divisions.) I was very disappointed. But from that day in November at the Austin Tennis Academy, I started learning to accept defeat. I wanted to train with more sacrifice and humility. From that time, I looked for another chance to demonstrate to all people but especially to myself, my different personality.
One year later, I won the Florida Sectionals in Boca Raton at the Evert Tennis Academy and the East Regionals at the N. Fulton Tennis Center in Atlanta, Georgia and was seeded #1 at the “Little Mo” Nationals at the Austin Tennis Academy in Austin, Texas. This time, 13 years after Andy Roddick won his “Little Mo” National title, I won the 2005 “Little Mo” Boys’ 9 National Championship ~losing only four games in the tournament. I also won the Kids Cup International Europe tournament in Marrakech and the “Little Mo”/Smrikve Bowl in Pula, Croatia, therefore, accomplishing my goal of winning the Kids Grand Slam (winning the five most important tournaments in the world in my age division (Boys 9) in the same year.)
My past experience playing “Little Mo” tournaments and probably Maureen Connolly from the sky helped me to grow as a player, but above all, to make me a better person. I had a new approach on-court and have grown so much. I want to greet all my new friends I met during “Little Mo” tournaments, their coaches and families.
Also, I want to thank the Austin Tennis Academy, the Maureen Connolly Tennis Foundation and especially, Carol Weyman (“Little Mo” Tournament Chairman), who represents them in an extraordinary way. Everybody and everything I knew in this experience will remain in my heart forever.
~Gianluigi Quinzi – Bradenton, Florida
++ Last year (2004),Blair Shankle from Boerne, Texas won the “Little Mo” Nationals, the Kids Cup in France, and the “Little Mo”/Smrikve Bowl in Girls 10 and completed the Kids Grand Slam.