Natalia Vikhlyantseva

January 21, 2021

“At age 8, I played my first tournament. There were three players in the draw and I lost to all of them. The other two players got gifts but I got nothing. I cried a lot. My grandparents tried to cheer me up. They did not expect me to have such an intense reaction. I was young and did not understand the impact of results.  At age 13, my grandfather died. He was a big part of my life and this was the first time I lost someone I loved. It was a tough timeand nobody paid attention to me. For weeks, I did not want to study or go to practice. I would arrive at the courts and tell my parents I was too sick to play. I took time off from tournaments. For the first time, I got bad grades at school. When I had to move a test date, the principal said I needed to focus on school instead of tennis. My mom considered this possibility. I was bummed and promised her I could do both. My mom did not want me to have a tutor because it is easier to understand life when you study independently. When you do homework by yourself,

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