Nicolas Mejia

May 27, 2021

“It was April 13th, 2017. It was noon in Colombia and it was really hot. My dad was playing tennis and started to have trouble breathing. It was the beginning of a heart attack. He kept playing until he had to go to the hospital where he passed away. He loved playing tennis and he died on the tennis court. His death was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through. It’s been a struggle. It’s surreal to realize that I can’t have my father physically with me. He was my biggest supporter and the one who put a racquet in my hand. I think about him every day. Every time I’m going to hit a milestone or reach new heights, I think of how proud he would be. It’s hard not to have him by my side, but I know he’s upstairs watching over me. I am lucky that he supported my journey to the United States. He is my biggest motivation because I want to get to the top to make him proud. Many colombian players are a part of the same unique sponsorship family, Colsanitas. My sister was part of my team. During the week, my (more…)

Ellen Perez

May 21, 2021

“I started playing tennis at age seven. I grew up in a rural country town in New South Wales, where there were not many opportunities to face good players. I went to a school that did not offer much support for my tennis. At age 10, I got spondylolisthesis, stress fractures in the back that never heal. I had two right wrist surgeries and left elbow surgery. I also had appendicitis and glandular fever. On top of all that I had a fibular stress fracture and bilateral achilles surgery, which made me miss my chance to play my last junior grand slams. These injuries gave me the resilience to fight and come back. Positivity is who I am. For me, it’s about being on the court and being able to compete. I feel very fortunate. At age 16, I made the decision to take tennis more seriously, so I moved to an academy in Melbourne and shifted to distanced learning. Two years later, I went to college and played for the University of Georgia. In Australia, at the time, going to college meant that you did not make it on tour. I went to college to play professionally after one (more…)

Sam Schröder

May 13, 2021

“Tennis has had a huge impact on my life, starting when I discovered wheelchair tennis and the possibility of exercising while in a wheelchair. In 2017, I was diagnosed with colon cancer. I underwent 25 rounds of radiation therapy, chemotherapy and had major surgery. Despite all of this, I still played tennis once a week, even if I could only practice for 15 minutes. Tennis was that important to me. I genuinely believe tennis saved me. Last year, I won the US Open. I had received a wild card because it was the first Grand Slam I had ever played. This win solidified my place at the top of wheelchair tennis and got rid of my status as an underdog. Now I know I can win, as long as I am physically and mentally at the top of my game. Therefore, I have been putting more emphasis on meeting with my mental coach. On the court, I stand out because I’m able to play defense while looking for that small opportunity to bend the rally into a play where I can be offensive and finish the point with a winner. I stand out because I am the only top-ranked player (more…)

Daniela Hantuchova

May 6, 2021

“At age 5, I watched Miloslav Mečíř represent Slovakia and win gold at the 1988 Olympic Games. I asked my parents to buy me a tennis racquet so I could compete in the Olympics too. At a young age, it can be painful to face public scrutiny. I would read gossip magazines about myself and this taught me tough lessons. I was in a serious relationship and it was difficult to spend months apart. This lowered my motivation to train and compete. I wish I had enjoyed more of my time on tour instead of constantly putting pressure on myself. The pressure from within was larger than the external pressure and took my joy away from the game. Young players should never lose sight of why they originally picked up a racket… to find joy. It is a natural inclination to want to be the best and sometimes that desire leads to disappointment. Success is knowing I gave 100% effort. Effort does not always yield results but the process makes us humble and strong.” Daniela Hantuchova (@danielahantuchova) (more…)

Rachel Stuhlmann

May 2, 2021

#MyBTR– “I am a triplet. When my siblings and I were 5 years old, our parents told us to pick different sports to avoid competing against one another. I chose tennis. Neither of my parents played so I am not sure why I chose the sport… But I am glad I did. It is hard to articulate how I feel about tennis because the sport is deeply personal. Tennis has taken me to places I never thought I would go and introduced me to nearly everyone in my life. The sport has impacted me in extraordinary ways through surprises, opportunities and relationships. As a top junior player and nationally ranked Division I tennis player, I learned many key lessons. Hard work, discipline, dedication, patience, strategic thinking, confidence, and composure. I am grateful to use these skills in my professional career as a media host. I always had an urge to make tennis more mainstream and relatable so the sport could be cool. I wanted fans to see the other side of tennis that revealed amazing stories and enticing personalities. The iconic court fashion makes tennis unique. I owe everything in my life to tennis. I never forget where I came (more…)