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Jr. Tennis Profile: Makarome Bro-Sis Ready for Florida Doubles Chps.

August 27, 2013 04:03 PM
noah-and-star-makarome-web-800
 
Stats Stats
Name Noah Makarome Name Star Makarome
Age 14 Age 15
Age Started Tennis 6 Age Started Tennis 6
Base Wesley Chapel Base Wesley Chapel
Coach parents James and Magdalene Makarome Coach parents James and Magdalene Makarome
Racquet Wilson Pro Staff 95 Racquet Wilson Juice 100
String Luxilon String Luxilon
Favorite Surface hard and claycourts Favorite Surface hard and claycourts
Favorite Player Roger Federer Favorite Player Roger Federer, Justine Henin
 
Accomplished Florida tennis teens Noah and Star Makarome will bring their brother-sister mixed doubles attack to the Florida Tennis Center in September for the USTA Florida Bobby Curtis Junior State Doubles Championships, one of the few tournaments in the nation to feature mixed doubles.
 
"The USTA does not have many junior tournaments that have mixed doubles to allow my sister and I to play together," Noah says. "My sister and I have not played together in any tournament besides the state doubles tournament. However, we play do play together against friends."
 
The pair will be looking to improve on their best previous state mixed result, the quarterfinal round in both the 12s (2009) and 14s (2011).
 
Noah in boys' doubles will be looking to top his 4th place finish in the Boys' 10s in 2008, while Star's best result in the girls' doubles was a second place finish in both the Girls' 14s and Girls' 18s divisions. Noah and Star have shared a court since the age of 6, if not in lessons from their parents then playing against neighborhood children.
 
"We wanted Star and Noah to do some fun activity outdoors while also getting some exercise," said their mother Magdalene on their start in tennis. "What better way to do so than introduce the kids to tennis, which is a sport of a lifetime, and their dad is a certified tennis teaching professional."
 
The local public tennis courts were beside a playground, so tennis time was intermingled with play time to keep things fun.
 
"Needless to say, the kids looked forward to playing tennis everyday," Magdalene said. "As parents, what we are most proud about Noah and Star is the humility and sportsmanship they demonstrate both on and off the tennis court."
 
USTA Florida caught up with Noah and Star during their busy summer of competing at USTA national championship tournaments and getting ready for the beginning of school.
 
What is it like having your sibling at some of the same tournaments?
Noah: I really enjoy having my sister at some of the same tournaments as me because we can really support each other. We can help each other out for our upcoming matches and the best part is that we do not have to go looking for hitting partners because we can hit with each other. Sometimes we play on courts that are right next to each other and it's a little harder to concentrate because we are rooting for each other while we're playing!
 
Star: It is very comforting to have my brother at some of the same tournament as I am. We both go through a variety of experiences together over the course of our junior careers, and I feel like he is the only one who can understand what I am feeling at that particular moment the most. The best part is when tournament directors are nice enough to put us on adjacent courts when we compete at the same time to make viewing for our parents much easier. When I see him play, he never fails to inspire me, and I hope I inspire him. For me to know that we are there for each other, falling or succeeding, is very comforting.
 
Why do you enjoy playing doubles?
Noah: I enjoy playing doubles because there are a lot of quick points that make you rely on your reflexes, which makes it exciting. It is also really fun to play with your friend as a partner, and you can work as a team and play tennis on the same side of the court. Even though [singles and doubles] are of the same sport, they feel like they are entirely different because strategy and shot selection are so variant. Both singles and doubles keep you on your toes and keep you moving and that's what makes it so exciting.
 
Star: It is a completely different game from singles. The mentality and the way you approach playing good doubles is more strategic than singles. Also, competing with a partner gives tennis a much different atmosphere than singles. I find that it is easier to get pumped up and actually smile and stay relaxed when playing doubles together with someone else in contrast to singles, where it is much more serious and independent.
 
What is your favorite tournament?
Noah: My favorite tournament is the Bobby Curtis Junior State Singles Championships. All of the best players from Florida compete in this event and the competition is tough. I have also had much success there, winning the event three times and reaching the finals five out of six times.
 
Star: I don't have a favorite tournament. So far, most tournaments I have been to have been run very well, accommodating to both parents and players. Probably a few that particularly stand out in my mind are tournaments in Orlando and the Bobby Curtis Junior State Championships.
 
What do you consider your best tournament result?
Noah: My best tournament results are the two gold balls I won in two of the USTA National Championships. I first won the USTA Winter National Championships for the Boys' 12s singles in 2011 and recently won the USTA National Clay Court Championships for the Boys' 14s singles in 2013. I consider them my best tournament results because they are the highest-level tournament for a junior playing under the USTA circuit, and I know how tough it can be to win one.
 
Star: One of my best tournament results was winning the bronze ball in the 2010 Girls' 12 Clay Court Championships. It was so memorable because although it was a hot, grueling, long week, I was able to pull through to the end and place in the top three of a USTA Super National. My best result in an L1 event prior to this event was reaching the round of 32. Another one of my best tournament results was winning the Girl's 16 National Open in February this year. It was one of the few tournaments where I was spot-on in every match and felt extremely confident in each one.
 
Did you ever have a rivalry playing each other?
Noah: I don't feel like my sister and I have ever had a rivalry playing against each other. We practice together everyday and occasionally play practice matches with each other and we just have a ton of fun when we hit with each other.
 
Star: No, not really. Of course, we would always try to push each other during practice, but my brother has always been very supportive of me and I have always been supportive of him. I would sometimes get more nervous about his matches than mine.
 
Fans watching the US Open during the next two weeks on ESPN2 and Tennis Channel may also recognize Noah in a Wilson commercial with Serena Williams:
 
  
 
 

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