Presidents Letter September 2021

September 2021 President’s Letter


We recently lost one of our all time great Kentucky tennis players. Julie Ditty Qualls battled breast cancer for six years. However, you would never know her struggle as she was always smiling and continued to live life to the fullest. Julie won her first of three Kentucky high school singles titles as a eighth grader. She was a three time All-American at Vanderbilt University followed by a long professional career achieving a singles ranking high of 89 and a doubles ranking high of 65 in the world. She won a record 38 USTA Professional Circuit titles and won a key doubles match for the United States during Fed Cup in 2009.


Despite all of her success on the tennis court, you would never know it upon meeting her. She was incredibly humble and always interested in helping others both on and off the court. Julie was just an incredible human being and she will be greatly missed. The Kentucky tennis family extends our sincere condolences to her husband Josh, son Atreyu, parents Jack and Juanita and the extended Ditty family. The Julie Ditty Qualls Foundation is being established by Josh and Jack to continue promoting things that Julie liked such as free tennis lessons and the development of new hiking and bike trails.


USTA Kentucky has been blessed to have an incredible staff.  Stacey Croley, our Manager of Community Tennis, will finish up her duties this month after over seven years of dedicated service. Stacey has two beautiful daughters and will be staying home with them. Many thanks to Stacey for all you have done for Kentucky tennis!  Although saddened at her departure, we are fortunate that our own Maddie Notoris has accepted an offer to be our new Manager of Community Tennis. Please joining me in wishing Stacey and Maddie well during this time of transition.


The U.S. Open has been very exciting this year with fans returning in large numbers. The women’s final saw a changing of the guard with teenagers Leylah Fernandez and Emma Raducanu reaching the finals. Raducanu made history as the only qualifier to win a Slam! The final match of the tournament was also historic as Daniil Medvedev foiled Novak Djokovic’s quest for the Grand Slam.


At your service,


Mike Eden