Tennis Player Awarded $9 Million After Sexual Abuse by Coach, USTA Blames Unfair Ruling

Jury Sides with Athlete in Lawsuit Against National Governing Body

A Florida jury has awarded $9 million to a tennis player who accused the United States Tennis Association (USTA) of failing to prevent her sexual abuse by a former coach.

Coach Accused of Targeting Vulnerable Athletes

Kylie McKenzie, the tennis player who filed the lawsuit in March 2022, alleges that Anibal Aranda, a former USTA coach employed for approximately seven years, used his position to gain access to and sexually assault female athletes, including herself, during her teenage years.

McKenzie Speaks Out: “Validated” by Verdict

“I couldn’t be happier with the outcome,” McKenzie stated in a press release. “I feel validated. It was very hard, but I feel now that it was all worth it. I hope I can be an example for other girls to speak out even when it’s difficult.”

The Associated Press typically withholds the identities of sexual assault victims, but McKenzie specifically authorized the release of her name in connection with the lawsuit.

Lawsuit Details Alleged USTA Negligence

McKenzie’s lawsuit contends that the USTA neglected its responsibility to protect her from sexual assault. Furthermore, it alleges negligence in retaining Aranda as a coach after a separate sexual assault allegation against him involving a USTA employee.

Jury Awards Damages and Punitive Measures

The U.S. District Court jury awarded McKenzie a total of $9 million, comprised of $3 million in compensation for damages incurred and an additional $6 million in punitive damages.