Joey Dillon

November 21, 2023

#MyBTR – “I was always heavier than most of my peers, but I didn’t let it stop me from playing. I ate, slept & breathed tennis, but knew playing college or pro would never happen.  I worked with the Ohio State tennis programs in undergrad & at the WTA after I graduated. Being in those environments was super exciting, but also exacerbated me feeling like a fish out of water. I always felt like I couldn’t be anything other than the “really big tennis fan who was also really big.” In January 2020, I began the process to have gastric bypass, which I call my “second lease on life.” It’s been an absolute game-changer. I actually don’t know my highest weight, but I’m down about 200 lbs since I started. Since then, I also came out to those close to me & started playing on the @gltaworldtour. I’ve found another family & it’s rewarding to play on a circuit all over the world with similar people. Sure, the GLTA gives a space for LGBTQ+ players & allies to play tennis, but so many charities are supported through the 100+ events every year.  I’ve used this journey to see how good (more…)

Joao Fonseca

November 16, 2023

“On the court, I think I’m a more aggressive player than normal. I’m courageous in important moments of the game (a match). In my opinion, it was the biggest difference in winning the US Open. I’ve always been like this – it wasn’t just some adaptation I made in the moment. Before winning the US Open, the biggest moment in my career was when I won the Roland Garros Junior Wild Card Series in Brazil in 2022. The victory gave me a place in the Grand Slam bracket for the first time, which I was very happy about. I had played youth  tournaments in Brazil, some abroad, but never a Grand Slam. That’s when it became key. I went to Roland Garros without many expectations and reached the round of 16. That year I played Wimbledon and the US Open too, and then we even won the junior Davis Cup final at the end of the year. Coming into the US Open this year, it was important that I overcome my hurdle of the quarterfinals. Until that point, I had reached the quarters in Australia, Roland Garros and Wimbledon, suffering and losing in  long matches. I managed to grow throughout (more…)

Tim van Rijthoven

October 19, 2023

“In juniors, there was always potential and the talent to become a good player, but a lot of things have to fall in place. For me, the tennis talent was there, but I’ve always struggled a bit mentally. I didn’t have the greatest of childhoods. My dad was pretty tough on me, which put a lot of pressure on my shoulders and I just couldn’t handle it. Plus, all the injuries from them until now have not been helping. When I was 18, I didn’t play the entire year because of an elbow injury. That was the year I first felt it, and the first time I had to quit tennis because of an injury. From there, I started to play on and off again, with pain here, there and everywhere. There was never really the opportunity to play a full year of pro tennis until last year, where I was healthy for almost the whole year. I felt good and was in the right place mentally. The years before that were a mess. I thought about quitting the sport because the pain was constant and all over, and then mentally I wasn’t there either. During this time, I basically (more…)

Marc Maurer

October 6, 2023

#MyBTR “I started playing tennis when I was seven, but I stopped because I had to decide between a team sport, which was hockey, and tennis. I went on and played hockey, but I’ve always appreciated the game. I’ve watched a lot, and now I’m taking lessons again every Friday. On the last holiday I took, I played every morning. I just really love the game. I’ve always thought, though, why not make tennis a bit more of a team sport and get different people together that share a love for the game. On was founded in 2010. We were very fortunate that we were able to grow, especially in the US. What we learned from running and from the CloudTec technology gave us the permission to grow in other sports. Then, through meeting Roger, we had the opportunity to go into tennis. I think we saw tennis itself needs to be more inclusive and bring more to the community. And then we realized we can bring more innovation to the products and basically create a performance product that you can wear all day, every day. It was a huge growth and apparel opportunity. Why not mix the sport up (more…)

Katherine Hui

September 28, 2023

“I started playing tennis when I was around four or five years old. It started just for fun, kind of just a lesson a week. At seven, I started playing tournaments and by the time I was 10 or 11, I started wanting to play professionally. I remember when I was around 12 or 13, at school they asked us to put down our goals and I actually put that I wanted to win the junior US Open. Obviously, I didn’t know anything at the time, I was just like that would be really cool. And then I ended up doing it. During the tournament, I think I knew I was capable of it, and I obviously had a lot of people telling me I could, but I tried to not think too much about winning it all. It was extra special to me, though, because it was the last junior tournament of my career. The entire time, I was thinking more about that little 7 year old girl who had just started playing tennis seriously. I really connected with my childhood self at that time, and I think that’s what kept me motivated and gave me a good mentality. (more…)

Leolia Jeanjean

September 9, 2023

“Tennis changed my life pretty quickly. I signed big contracts and left for the federation to train when I was very young. Back then, I had a lot of pressure on my shoulders, and many people were expecting me to be in the top 100 before I turned 18. Everyone told me that I would be successful. I was riddled by the fear of letting the people that believed in me down. What I think differentiates me from other tennis players is my path. I was pretty good when I was young, and then I had a really bad knee injury when I was 15. It was undoubtedly the most painful experience of my career. I injured it during a tournament; it was like the sky fell on my head. After it happened, I went through depression for almost a year because I couldn’t play, and I didn’t know what other things I could do besides tennis. It took me a while to accept my injury. What was also painful to see was that a lot of people that believed in me in the past let me down while I was injured, because they stopped thinking that I could make (more…)

Bradley Klahn

August 31, 2023

“It hit me at six-two. I was like, this could be the last point of my career. It was one of those moments that I realized it’s just very special to be able to retire at Stanford. Much of my comeback from my third surgery was less about the wins and losses and my ranking, and just more about writing my own script and finishing on my own terms. It’s funny, because it took me years to figure out where I wanted to end it. I thought maybe I’ll try and get to the US Open or hope there’s an opportunity to retire there. Then, I woke up on Monday morning, and I was like, “Honestly, this is it. This is the perfect place.” It was a full circle moment of going to school and spending all four years there – getting my degree. It was a place that really shaped me in more ways than one. Much of what has happened in my career hasn’t been on my terms, but I’ve reached a point where I’m at peace with it a majority of the time. A lot of life lessons that I learned started to crystallize in my mind (more…)

Nicolas Basaez Cespedes

August 24, 2023

#MyBTR “Despite the adversities of life I have never given up even without having my upper extremities. I keep overcoming all the obstacles that are put in front of meFear for me becomes a challenge, so it makes me want to continue showing that in this life, nothing is impossible. Tennis changed my life at the age of 7, when those who told me that since I didn’t have arms I couldn’t play it. Now look at the present time I am the number 1 Adaptive Tennis player in Chile, standing up to be number 8 in the world. If I had paid attention to those who said I could not do it, I would never have had so many achievements with tennis.Tennis has changed my life a lot because thanks to it I have been able to meet countries and people openly. My social circle is completely different at work, since I am a tennis teacher for young people with different abilities and that makes me very happy.The most painful thing off the field is that they judge you without knowing you, they say you cannot do it and they try to limit you, but I use that as (more…)

Mark Lajal

August 18, 2023

“I come from a motorsport family, which I think is the funniest part of my story. My dad used to be a motocross racer, and my grandpa used to be a rally driver. So tennis was never really in my family. I started racing motorcycles when I was three years old, and grew up racing. At around six, my dad had a dream of going on a road trip from Tallinn to Vladivostok. During this time, my mom put me in a tennis program. For a couple years I did both racing and tennis, and eventually chose tennis over racing. I vividly remember my first practice and the way I hit my forehead. I used to get so excited about making the ball spin. I guess I just always loved tennis for the sport it is – it stuck with from the beginning. And since I started, I wanted to play professionally. I don’t remember saying, but my mom remembers me telling her when I was seven or eight that I was going to win the US Open. I’ve always had that dream. Coming from Estonia, such a small country, it hasn’t been easy because we don’t have many tournaments. (more…)

Facundo Diaz Acosta

August 10, 2023

“For a long time, I was scared of not succeeding. But in the last few months, I’ve learned that succeeding for me is waking up every morning and doing my best. If the result is good or not is another thing, but right now my focus is trying to do that every day and I’m okay with that. I think one of the things that separates me from other players is that I started working with my tennis and physical coaches when I was 12 years old. So I’ve been working with them for 10 years and I consider most of them my family. We’ve been through a lot of good and bad things together, and that’s built a strong relationship between us. In 2018, I’d say tennis changed my life. I was a good junior player and was able to quality for the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, which is my home. I had a really good week, and I found myself in the final with 5,000 people in the stadium watching my match. That was incredible After that, a lot of people knew me and there were a lot of expectations. It was tough to manage that (more…)