As the person in charge of player development at one of Maryland’s top youth tennis centers, Ali Agnamba has gotten accustomed to newcomers walking through the doors of the Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC) without confidence. But Agnamba immediately saw something special the first time he witnessed a then-6-year-old Robin Montgomery being dropped off by her mother at the JTCC — simply to keep her physically active.

“All she wanted to do was hit balls, and at the age of 6 you couldn’t help but notice her ability and her presence,” Agnamba said. “She walked in and immediately wanted to be better than everybody her age. The way she absorbed everything by watching the older players, I said immediately, ‘This girl can be special if she puts the work in.’ ” Read More