When we talk about women’s tennis we can’t avoid to think about one of the greatest champions of the history, Serena Williams, not only as a tennis player but also as an individual, an inspiring model for million of girls who decide to play this amazing sport.So in the Usa, for obvious reasons, there is a great tennis movement that brought, if we consider the ranking of this week, 33 girls in the top 300 and we have to add many young girls, for example, the seventeen year old Katerina Stewart, the sixteen year old Tornado Alicia Blackand then the fourteen year old Claire Liu, who recently won the 10k tournament of Orlando.
The 30th of the Usa ranking is Asia Muhammad, 23 year old from Long Beach and number 265 of the Wta ranking. If you are a basketball and Nba follower and you have read this surname together by the name Shabazz, you have known Asia’s brother.
A sport passionate family lead Asia to hold, for the first time, the tennis raquet. “ I got into because my cousin started playing and I hung out with her all the time so I tried it out, I was 9”.
As we said before, Serena and Venus were models but they weren’t their idols. “ I grew up loving the Williams sisters but my favorite players are Andre Agassi and Roger Federer”.
During the past years, Asia figured out that she has been playing good tennis and so she decided to keep playing. “ I had good results at a young age. I was too 5 in every age group in the juniors out of the whole country and had good results in Itf too”.
Usually an important step takes teenagers away from the sports activity, while they join the college. Though, Asia decided to take a different choice and… “ I didn’t go to college but I am taking college course now online! I think the choice depends on the individual, I like school and that’s why I took this choice”.
When she doesn’t study or play, Asia spends her free time with her friends.“ I love hanging out with my friends even if it’s watching Tv together. I love shopping and going out to dinner. I would say I’m a very laid back person. But at the same time I’m outgoing!”.
The chance to see American tennis players in Europe is rare because in America, or in South America, there are often tennis tournaments with a good level and prize money. Anyway, last year, Asia, together with other girls, joined some European tournaments, coming to Italy, in tournaments like Brescia and Grado. “ I went because a bunch of Americans were going and I love Italy and the food! I remember Brescia being one of the coolest hotels and Grado having the best pizza!”.
Playing doubles for a girl that wants to keep high her level also in singles (indeed, she is top 300 in singles and 114th in doubles) it’s not so easy, because often you have to change your doubles’ partner every tournament, considering your usual one can have a different schedule. “I try to play with the same partners but that is one thing I actually do well (playing with different partners if I need to) it isn’t that difficult to me. I just try and go out and have fun all the time!”.
The tennis player from Long Beach is different from other girls for her tennis style too. Indeed, she tries often to run to the net. “ I like to play aggressive and look for my forehand and use that to get to net”.
Memories are many, from the funniest to most pleasant, like the wins in front of her family. “ I’ve lost a shoe during a point! And I would say my best memory was reaching the final of this tournament in Las Vegas in front of all of my family and friends. I think it was a 50k and it was called the Tennis Channel Open!”.
Often you can read about friendship between professionals tennis players. Serena this week said how to be friend with a person that sometimes could be your opponent is surely possible and, Asia, agrees with her: “ I have friends on tour and off. I think it’s important to have both. I know lot of my closest friends on tour since I was 14. I do think it’s important to put that aside when you play against them, but what happens on the court, stays on the court”.
“My goal is reaching my personal best in ranking and finish the season with it. My short-term goal is to reach the main draws of the European swing of tournaments”.
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