Growing up as a young tennis player in Africa

I was born into a sports crazed family in the sports crazed nation of South Africa. Sport has always been my passion. My father played professional tennis in the 70s, competing on some of the biggest stages in the game – Wimbledon, Queens, Rome, as well as Davis Cup (for Rhodesia, present-day Zimbabwe). He went on to become one of the top coaches in South Africa. My mother, a dental hygienist by profession, also spent most of her life around the game and was a great player in her own right, competing in the top tier of South African tennis as a junior. So I always knew tennis was going to be a part of my life.

My dad got me started young. As soon as I could hold a racquet I was out there swinging for the fences. At every possible opportunity, I was outside with a racquet in hand. More often than not this involved me relentlessly banging tennis balls against the garage door for hours on end, much to the neighbors, and the poor garage doors, dismay. Some of my earliest memories involve me travelling around Cape Town with my father, going to various schools and tennis clinics and putting on demonstrations. I loved the game, and thankfully I seemed to be fairly good at it. With all that said, what I am most thankful for is the fact that my parents never pushed me into the game. Sure, there was a slight nudge in the direction of tennis, but it was always my choice.

This is me

This is me sitting in my dad’s tennis bag, trying to get into Men’s League undetected.


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