Li Tu

April 23, 2023

“I started playing tennis when I was four or five years old. My older brother played badminton and he was quite a good player. I went to one of his practices one day and I just picked up a racket and started hitting. His coach saw and was like, “Man, your little brother’s pretty good. He can play, but he should go play tennis because there’s no money in badminton.” Then from there, my dad started taking me to the local courts and that’s where I started playing. That’s where I really fell in love with the game. I remember my dad had a bean sprout factory with a big open space where all the delivery vans were. When they went out and I was at the factory, I’d just hit balls against that wall and picture scenarios at Wimbledon or other slams. My family, they’re from China. I think that’s where I got my work ethic from. My parents came over from China 30, almost 40, years ago. My dad came over first, and didn’t see my mom for over two and half years. He was just working, trying to get everything set up in Australia. Then when he (more…)

Nick Hardt

April 13, 2023

“Growing up, my dad had a little tennis club back home in the Dominican Republic. I used to watch him play every day with his friends. He never played professionally, just as a hobby with his friends, but I watched him play every day. One day, I decided to try it out and from that point, I fell in love with the sport. When I was little, I was chubby. I was maybe a little bit talented from the beginning, but I was never confident that I could make it to the professional level. I always had a voice in my head that every tennis player was really athletic and I wasn’t. After I started winning some matches on the junior circuit, though, I realized maybe I could play at that level. You never know. To be honest, I had a really tough childhood. When I was one or two, my parents got separated. I never really saw them together, and when they did all they did was fight. I didn’t really know what love was. Some days I was with my dad, others with my mom, and they basically hated each other. It was tough to be a little (more…)