ORLANDO, Fla. – A tennis player who trained at the U.S. Tennis Association’s Orlando campus in 2018 has filed a lawsuit against the organization after accusing a coach of sexually assaulting her.
Kylie McKenzie held a virtual news conference on Tuesday detailing the allegations in the lawsuit filed Monday in federal court.
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McKenzie, who started playing tennis at the age of 3 and was being trained by USTA coaches by the time she was 12, said she doesn’t trust USTA to revise its policies without her taking legal action.
The lawsuit says in 2018, when McKenzie was 19, her coach sexually assaulted her over her clothing. She said USTA staff told her to not speak of the incident and to tell her peers she missed practices because she felt ill.
The lawsuit goes on to say the coach in question was terminated by USTA following an investigation.
“I became very closed off,” McKenzie said during the news briefing. “My confidence and self-esteem were gone, both on and off the court. My trust in people is diminished, affecting my personal and professional relationships.”
McKenzie said she attempted to compete in 2019 and 2020, but the mental anguish from the abuse hindered her from performing.
“The assault has continued to affect me, making it incredibly difficult to get back on my feet again,” McKenzie said. “I was a great tennis player when this happened. I was excited and motivated to reach my full potential.”
The lawsuit is demanding a jury trial to recover unspecified damages.
McKenzie’s attorney said he plans to contact the Orlando Police Department, urging them to investigate the coach as well.