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Junior Tennis Success Abounds at Five Seasons Burr Ridge

Although he was unseeded, Tony Leto recently emerged from a field of high school and college players to reach the final of an Intercollegiate Tennis Association tournament at the University of Minnesota.
Although he was unseeded, Tony Leto recently emerged from a field of high school and college players to reach the final of an Intercollegiate Tennis Association tournament at the University of Minnesota.
Since its 2001 opening, Five Seasons Family Sports Club in Burr Ridge has been renowned for its outstanding junior program. But there are seasons when widespread success raises the bar a bit higher, and the club is in the midst of such a period.

The success of boys and girls, ranging from 8 to 17 years old, is probably best illustrated by this statistic: 22 qualified for the most prestigious junior tournament in the Midwest, the USTA/Midwest Section Closed Junior Championships held in Indianapolis and Okemos, Michigan, in late June.

And they did more than show up, with 12 advancing to Day 4 of the six-day event, and four players still in action on the final day: Lahari Yelamanchili, Gabe Guzauskas, Agata Mikos and Angelina Ye.

Five Seasons’ Tennis Director Tim Troiano and Junior Tennis Director Matt McClure have been instrumental in leading a strong staff of instructors who have helped the youngsters develop their games.

Among the club’s most prominent junior players is Tony Leto, a rising senior at Downers Grove South High School who placed sixth in the Illinois High School Association tennis tournament this past year. Although he was unseeded, Tony also recently emerged from a field of high school and college players to reach the final of an Intercollegiate Tennis Association tournament at the University of Minnesota.

Tony’s father, Jim Leto, praised Troiano’s dedication, which has included traveling with Tony to tournaments throughout the Midwest to provide instruction during matches.

“It’s been great,” says Jim Leto. “Tim is very positive—he’s always got a positive attitude and he is great at scheduling Tony to play against other top players, often former college players he has coached before. He goes the extra mile, for sure.”

A member of Five Seasons since he was 10 years old, Tony has been under Troiano’s tutelage  for nearly five years. Troiano said there are many other stories of boys and girls emerging on the court, including:

*Lahari Yelamanchili, one of the Day 6 competitors, noted above, at the USTA/Midwest Section Closed Junior Championships. Previously, she won the U14 girls Chicago District Championship. Seeded fourth, Lahari won her final in three sets.

“She’s just a joy to be around,” said Troiano. “She’s resilient, an unbelievable fighter.”

And she has literally grown up at the club, having been born about five months after the club’s opening in early 2001.
 
Her father, Murali Yelamanchili, credited Troiano with helping his daughter refine her game, such as her strokes, volleys and overheads, and has guided her strategic approach to matches.

“Lahari was always a top player in the Midwest, but since Tim took over (a year ago), she has developed even faster,” said Murali. “At the club, Tim does great job with all kids; he makes sure everybody gets value from the instruction. He takes the time to explain things to kids at their level. Tim is more than a good tennis coach, he’s a fantastic person.”

*Jack Carroll, who won the U14 Boys Chicago District Championship.

Troiano called Jack “the comeback kid,” by virtue of his recovery from serious injuries sustained in an accidental fall out of a tree last year. Out of action for five months, Jack re-took the tournament title that he won two years ago in the younger age division.

Jack, seeded ninth, beat his final two opponents in straight sets, losing only five games throughout the four sets. “He didn’t miss a beat,” Troiano said. “I couldn’t be prouder.”

*Lope Adelakun, who placed second (with Chase Hamilton) in the IHSA Doubles tournament.

*Angelina Ye, another Midwest Closed Day 6 competitor, who won the U16 Girls title in the Northern Illinois Tennis Association Qualifier.

*Chris Ortega, who won the U18 Boys title in the Northern Illinois Tennis Association Qualifier.

For a summary of the Midwest Closed results, visit:

http://www.midwest.usta.com/news/midwest_closed_champions_crowned/

Five Seasons Family Sports Club is located at 6901 S. Madison in Burr Ridge. For more information, visit www.FiveSeasonsSportsClub.com/BurrRidge or call 630-570-5200.



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