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Carmen Stewart



Children: Allison, 17; Tyler, 15; Sarah, 12; Marisa, 10

Photo of Carmen Stewart and family
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What makes tennis special to you?

Tennis has meant so much to my family and me. I remember the memories of my parents taking my brother, Chad Clark, and me to USTA tournaments. It was so fun to be together as a family on weekends, and so many memories were made at those tournaments. I have made so many friends for life all over Texas through USTA tennis. I met my husband, Scott Stewart, through the tennis network, also.


Playing tennis has made me a better person. I gained so much confidence and self-esteem and have learned a lot about myself from playing. I believe that tennis has taught (and is teaching) these same qualities to my children. Tennis is one of the only sports you have to call your own score and line calls. I believe this teaches children to be able to communicate better, to be confident in themselves and to learn at an early age to be strong.


Tennis develops so much character in a person. It has developed the character of my husband, myself and my children and made us the people we are today.


When did you start playing tennis? How about your kids?

I started playing tennis around sixth grade. When my brother became interested, so did I. My children have been around the tennis courts since they were able to hold a racquet. They started playing competitive tennis around 10 years old.


Why do you think it’s important for your children to play tennis? Why do you play yourself?

Tennis is the sport for a lifetime. It teaches you so many life lessons: honesty, communication, self-control, self-esteem, and also it is something you can do forever. Tennis also is, to me, one of the best sports to keep you in full body shape that is FUN.


What are some of your notable tennis accomplishments? How about your family’s?

My doubles partner, Laura Barrow, and I finished in second place at the 6A State Championships when we were at Longview High School in 1991 and 1992. I played at Texas Tech University on a tennis scholarship from 1994-96.


My husband, Scott, played at the University of Texas on scholarship from 1989-91.


Allison, my daughter, won the 6A State Doubles Championship with her partner, Kate Daugherty, and she is currently ranked No. 16 in the Girls’ 18 super champs. She also finished second at the Grand Slam in Girls’ 18s doubles in 2017. She will be attending Abilene Christian University next year on a full scholarship.


Tyler, my son, finished No. 4 in the Boys’ 14s and just moved up to 16s. He was the Texas Grand Slam doubles champion last year in the 14s and was a semifinalist in singles.


What is your most memorable tennis moment?

It’s pretty hard to beat the 2017 State Final Championship with me as their head Midland High School tennis coach. Our entire family and friends from Midland, Texas, traveled to College Station, and it was a very exciting tennis moment.


What has tennis taught you about yourself and your kids?

Tennis has taught me – and is now teaching my children – to be confident in the people they are. It is a lonely sport, and only you are in charge of your outcome, which means you can’t blame anyone but yourself for anything that happens on the court. I love that about tennis. It is you and you alone on the court.


Tennis is such a mental game, and the sport has taught me to be strong mentally. Sometimes you feel all alone on the court, or in practice, but to me this teaches self-worth and self-motivation. I can see through my children, too, that being on a high school tennis team brings added fun to the sport that can sometimes be lonely. Tennis is a unique sport that sometimes is not the “cool” sport in our area, but it has taught my children to be different and that they don’t have to go with what “everyone” is doing.


More than anything, tennis is a life skill that has taught them to work hard at what their heart desires and the hard work will pay off. This skill of working hard and never giving up will hopefully carry on, not only through tennis in college, but to family, faith and hopefully a job one day.

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