Marcus Willis

June 20, 2024

“I played badminton from the age of six because my mom used to play competitively so I used to go and watch her play after school. Then my badminton coach started doing mini tennis and it came to a point where I’d play tennis with him every Tuesday. I really enjoyed it. In the end, I had to choose between tennis and badminton. I picked it up quickly. By the time I was 16, 17, I played for Britain in Summer Cup events. Then, I was the number one junior under 18. Between the ages of 21 and 25 I was massively out of shape. I didn’t play a full schedule. I didn’t quite have it together at that age, I suppose. There are certain surfaces I’d be dangerous on, but I think I was a bit lost. I didn’t really have anyone around me. I just didn’t know quite how to live my life off the court in my spare time. Sometimes I find it funny looking back, and then sometimes I’m like, “Oh, mate, if I knew now how to handle it, then it would have been very different.” But do I have regrets? No. Did I learn? (more…)

Aleks Vukic

June 5, 2024

“I remember picking up a tennis racket probably when I was around six. My brother was playing, and I remember picking up some balls from him at some local courts in Sydney on the synthetic grass. Ever since then, tennis has been my life. That’s honestly probably the earliest memory I have. My parents are both academically smart people. They’re both computer engineers, and didn’t touch a racket at all. My brother started playing tennis late, and I don’t think his heart was ever in it. So it was strange forging my path. My dad pushed for tennis and my mom pushed for studies, so I was torn in between. It’s a good life in Sydney and I had a good time in high school. I enjoyed it. When my dad was pushing for me to go play tennis full-time, I was actually a little hesitant to do it myself. I wasn’t a great junior and I didn’t want tennis to consume me. When I finished high school, I tried to go pro immediately in Spain. I realized very quickly I would quit in a year or two if I kept up with that. I wasn’t ready. So I chose (more…)