JC Aragone

September 23, 2021

“Everyone’s heard of my original health scare, which left me in a coma — my initial fight to stay alive. Once I got through with that, I was like, “All right, I’m in the clear, I’m good.” It took me another six, seven months to even get back to playing. I was happy, and then I started playing. My first time back was Kalamazoo, and I actually played Jordan Daigle first round, who was coming to UVA. I just felt terrible. I just remember walking out there and I was chugging water like no other. I had to go to the bathroom four times. I just felt bad, dizzy. I hadn’t played a tournament in two years. I thought that was normal. I ended up flying home, went straight to the hospital, got some blood work, and that’s when they told me, “Hey, you have type one diabetes.” I guess it was just all the stress I’d been through that last year on my body.  Of course, that was difficult because you feel confused at times. I’ve been through so much so when they were like, “Oh, you’re going to be fine, you’re going to live,” I was like, “Okay, (more…)

Despina Papamichail

September 9, 2021

“It was a random summer. My best friend back then was like, “Come to the tennis court, Despi. The court is beautiful,” and I was like, “Okay.” Since day one, it just started like this — I liked it.  I liked tennis because it was an individual sport. I wanted the responsibility on me. You could either win or lose, but because of your own fault. I liked the sound of the ball. I like that you have a racket and you got to hit it so you need more coordination. There is not something specific that threw me into it, but the whole thing — I love the whole thing. The competition, the screaming, the match after match. Being a defensive player, I was winning a lot from the mistakes of the others. I had to change into an aggressive player. They were pushing me to be aggressive, and then I lost my game because I don’t think players should change their games. We started the tournaments the year that I was 18. 350 with so much pressure of winning, and I start losing. I was not sleeping, I was dreaming that they would take off my contract. I (more…)

Rennae Stubbs

September 2, 2021

#LegendaryBTR– “There is nothing about my career that I look back and I have huge regrets — I just feel like all of us have our own journey. I think the things that I eventually got to was because of what I went through. If I really look at my career, maybe I would have been a little bit more focused earlier on, not worrying about others or being popular. I made my last Wimbledon doubles finals in 2009. I played a long time. I probably could’ve played a few more years in doubles, but I also wanted to not travel quite as much. I’m not sad about it, because I knew I put everything into the sport for as long as I could.  I got a call through NBC, and she said, “Do you want to cover the Olympics for us in 2012?” I was contemplating retiring at that stage. I just thought it was an opportunity for me to get into a post-career life. I remember saying yes to her and putting the phone down. I literally said to myself, “Well, that’s it. I’m retired.” I like I’ve always coached my whole career. I was a very good (more…)