St. Joseph Alum Reaches Tennis Tourney Final
St. Joseph Notre Dame (SJND) graduate Aysha Hayes was the runner up in the 101st American Tennis Association (ATA) National Championships Monday, July 30. The tournament was held at the United States Tennis Association national training center in Orlando, Fla.
The tournament held dozens of competitions including mixed doubles for ages 55 and up and singles for boys and girls as young as 10 years old. Hayes competed in the women’s open competition. Hayes was one of eight players in the tournament. She took down Jessica Fischer of Winter Haven, Fla in the first round 6-4, 6-3. She defeated Jennifer Myers, also of Winter Haven, in the semifinal round 6-3, 6-4.
The final round was a hassle for Hayes. Hayes lost to Isabelle Porter of Jupiter Fla. 6-2, 6-2. Hayes broke Porter’s serve just once. Hayes, on the other hand, had her serve broken in the third and fifth games of the opening set, and in the first and third games of the second set.
Hayes graduated from SJND in 2017. She competed on the school’s tennis team. She and her sister Azaria won the North Coast Section Div. II women’s doubles tennis championship in 2016.
The ATA was established on Nov. 30, 1916. ATA’s mission was to promote black tennis in America. It is the oldest African-American sports organization in the United States and has produced a number of the world’s top players and coaches.
Most notably among these are Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe, the first African-Americans to be ranked No. 1 and to win grand slam titles. The first ATA championships were established in 1918.