Children: Jaden, 12; Chase, 6; Jaz, 2
What makes tennis a special part of your life?
I was born into a tennis family. I had a racquet in my hand by the time I was 2. My love for the sport grew rapidly as I spent my days at the tennis club. Tennis offered me opportunities to learn how to compete, set goals and travel around the world. It taught me life lessons, sportsmanship and how to follow my dreams. It gave me purpose and direction. I get so much joy seeing my children growing up in the same environment. I know tennis will give them direction and happiness.
How long have you been playing tennis? How about your kids?
I have been playing for 43 years. My parents built a tennis club when I was a baby. My 12-year-old daughter has been playing for six years, my 6-year-old son has been playing for two years, and my 2-year old daughter is starting to swing the racquet now.
Why do you think it’s important for your children to play tennis?
Tennis teaches them to compete, how to stay healthy and active, and it teaches them how to set goals. It also teaches them how to learn from their mistakes. They have also made great friends on the tennis court.
What are some notable tennis accomplishments for your children or yourself?
My daughter, Jaden, is currently ranked No. 23 in the Mid-Atlantic section. For myself, I won the Easter Bowl and National 16-and-Under Clay Courts two times. I was No. 1 in Mid-Atlantic through juniors and Top 10 nationally throughout juniors. I played college tennis for a year at William & Mary, where I was ranked No. 7 and was All-American my freshman year in 1991, and then I turned pro after my first year. I got my degree in psychology once my pro career ended. Tennis taught me discipline and gave me the opportunity to get a great education.
What has tennis taught you about yourself and your kids?
Tennis has taught me how to stay calm and remain in the moment to get the best out of myself. I’ve been able to pass these life lessons along to my children.