Fighting for every point
After four hours of battling back and forth in the scorching 102-degree heat, the match was over with a final score of 7-6(7-2); 6-7(7-9); (10-7). That match in the Easter Bowl at Indian Wells was one of the most physically and mentally challenging matches I have ever played. The only thought in my mind at the end was how exhausted I was – it could have gone either way.
I learned a lot from that experience and now work to condition and train better to survive the elements. It’s hard enough fighting the good players; imagine enduring the heat too!
As a freshman at Kinkaid this year, it will be my first time competing against other high school varsity tennis players in the Southwest Preparatory Conference. Tennis is very much an individual sport, but having teammates cheer you on can sometimes change the momentum from losing to winning a match. In middle school, my favorite part of the season was supporting and being supported by my teammates. I think high school will be similar, and will give me that extra push.
With a full honors schedule at school, I don’t have much time to practice, but I still love playing in tournaments and seeing all my friends. I recently signed up for a local Houston Tennis Association Tournament, which was a USTA Level 3 national tournament and one of the more competitive events for juniors in Houston. I played in Girls 16U and was the 8th seed in the tournament, so I wasn't expecting much. With some luck on my side, I made it through the quarters and semis against two top junior players from Dallas. I came up short in the finals but wasn’t upset. I gave my best effort against a very high-level opponent.
Mentally showing up and never giving up is a big part of winning. Continuing to fight is half the battle. There have been several matches where I lost the first set, was losing the second, and was even down match point, and I came back and won! The best advice that I can give to younger players is to never give up: fight for every point, respect your opponent, and just go out and have fun!
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