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Visions of Victory

September 25, 2012 02:45 PM
AsiaA few of the top tennis players who participated in the Coleman Vision Tennis Championships last week in Albuquerque, New Mexico, offered advice to up and coming tennis players. “Have fun on the court and enjoy the moment of doing your best,” said Asia Muhammed who was on the winning doubles team for the second consecutive year. Asia is shown left.  “And remember you don’t have to practice four hours a day every day.” Muhammed, 21, started playing tennis at the age of 8 and entered her first local tournament when she was 9 1/2.

Maria_SanchezMaria Sanchez, 22, shown right, winner of the singles final against Lauren Davis, agreed about striking a balance. “Balance is probably the most important thing to remember when you are young,” said Sanchez who started playing at age 10. “Your life doesn’t have to be tennis, tennis, tennis. You can sharpen your athleticism by doing other activities. Play soccer, run track, hula hoop or whatever!” 
During the singles final during the Coleman Tournament, Sanchez came out of the gates swinging freely and connecting with her shots. “It’s easy to say but don’t put pressure on yourself,” she said. “You have to find calmness in the craziness.” Sanchez is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California and declared to play in the professional ranks. She is currently ranked 186 in the world.
Sanchez also added that it’s important to take each step as it comes and keep things in perspective. “If you lose to Johnny Joe when you are 12, no one is going to remember that when you are 17,” she explained. “And when you lose, you have to let it go to move forward.” Sanchez offered this advice after losing a close battle in the finals doubles against Muhammed and Yasmin Schnack. “I think some of the best lessons come from a loss.”
LaurenDavisDavis, 19, shown right, started playing tennis at age 9 1/2. She began taking lessons at the local club in Cleveland, OH, when the coach noticed that she had something special. Despite being singled out on the court, Davis continued to participate in other sports. When she was a sophomore in high school, she decided to make a bigger commitment and went the to the Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, FLA., owned and operated by former tennis great Chris Evert and her brother, John. 
“She is so passionate about the game and is determined to continue to improve,” said Rosalee Sevete, Davis’ Grandmother who was in Albuquerque supporting her. When Davis decided to move 1,200 miles away from home, her family was nervous but excited for the opportunity.  “I think it’s a tough life, but she absolutely loves it and works to improve each and every day,” said Sevete. “She is truly following her dream to be in the top 10 in the world.”
Davis ended up losing in the final against Sanchez 1-6, 1-6 in the Coleman Vision Tennis Championships. “It was a tough match, things didn’t go my way,” she said. “For the kids out there playing tennis, you have to remember to persevere and have a short memory when things don’t go your way. During difficult points, you have to focus on your playing and remain faithful as you never know what can happen in tennis---that’s the great thing about this sport.”
Submitted by Guest Writer Ali Hootman.