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Tennis Nationals Hold High Hopes for Miami’s Monica Chow

July 13, 2007 10:12 AM

By Melissa Lichtenheld

Monica Chow, 16, of Miami who recently won the state championship for a second year in junior tennis, is determined to head down the same road at the national level.

“Right now I’m shooting for a national ranking in the top five by the end of the year,” Chow says. “If I start dominating the national tournaments, then I am going to consider trying out some professional tournaments and take it from there.”

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She improved her ranking to No. 30 in junior tennis this year by entering more tournaments with frequent wins. She seeks another top finish at the United States Tennis Association’s Girls’ 18 National Clay Championships, which starts July 15 in Memphis. Three weeks later in August, she will head to California to play a hard court tournament at the USTA National Championships at Berkeley.

Chow, who receives support for tournament and travel expenses from the Greater Miami Tennis & Education Foundation (GMTEF), has time to test the waters before attending college. As she reaches the end of home-schooled high school course work, she has the freedom to compete more than students with regular school hours. When she is in town, Chow practices at Moore Park in the Allapattah neighborhood of Miami, where GMTEF operates tennis programs.

“The GMTEF has helped me so much in playing all the tournaments,” Chow says. “I wouldn’t have gone to the Gator Bowl in April, but GMTEF helped me out and I won.”

In June, Chow took the Girls’ 18 division title at the prestigious USTA Florida Junior State Closed Championship. Last year, Chow won the Girls’ 16 division. The tournament is representative of the best junior tennis players in Florida, which is recognized as the strongest section in the USTA.

To support high level players like Chow who play at urban parks, GMTEF and First Serve, a life skills organization, initiated the Adopt-A-Player program in March to match players with financial sponsors.

 

 

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