Remembering Bobby Curtis Through his Memorial Fund
On July 14, 2021, the Florida tennis community lost the prestigious junior tennis influencer, Bobby Curtis. As we reach the year mark since his passing, we look back at his legacy, what he did for junior tennis in Florida, and how we still remember him today.
Bobby Curtis was one of the state’s most impactful influences on the junior tennis space. From organizing countless events to teaching youth players the game, Curtis was more than a tennis advocate.
He was referred to as “Mr. Junior Tennis” and for many good reasons. Down in Miami, Curtis took to a troubled neighborhood and created a place for kids to escape from reality and enjoy the game of tennis.
When he wasn’t teaching kids the sport, he was working diligently at establishing Junior Team Tennis nationwide, which today holds more than 60,000 youth players. Participants from this program have gone on to be some of the best pros in the world.
This week, USTA Florida hosts the Junior State Championships. This tournament is the most reputable event in the junior space and was renamed to the “Bobby Curtis” Junior State Championships in 2012 to honor Curtis for his service as a youth tennis organizer. It features some of the best players and talent in the world, with participants ranging from the age of 12 (10?) all the way to 18.
These players compete in four different draws based on their age, with the champions taking home a trophy with “Bobby Curtis” printed on it. Something that many of these athletes will cherish for the rest of their lives. Former champions include Danielle Collins, Chris Evert, Andy Roddick, Jennifer Capriati, Jum Courier, and many more.
That’s what it was all about for Curtis, he wanted to make sure that kids had a platform to compete on. It didn’t matter if they could afford it or not, he was all for the kids, watching them perform, and work toward reaching the next level.
When he passed away, the USTA Florida Section and the USTA Florida Section Foundations created a memorial fund in his name to make sure his legacy would stay alive. Every dollar that is donated to the Bobby Curtis fund is being poured back into the youth tennis scene to help grow it even further.
Curtis is one the of the main reasons that USTA Florida exists today, and even though he may not be with us anymore, he left a lasting impression that no one will ever forget. To donate to his memorial fund, visit bobbycurtis.funraise.org.