There’s no athletic competition on earth quite like a junior tennis tournament. It’s crazed tennis parents and Nike-clad pre-teens. It’s rivalries between 10 year olds and friendships between kids from two different cities. It’s both grueling competition and loads of fun. If you grew up playing junior tennis tournaments (or if you’re still playing them now) you’ll definitely understand all of these things.
1. Getting way too excited for the tournament T-shirt.
Free with $65 tournament fee.
2. And then judging the kids who wore the shirt at the tournament.
Clearly a novice.
3. Repeatedly asking the tournament director how many courts are left until you go on.
“I don’t know, Kevin! I don’t know!”
4. Playing in a never-ending compass draw.
You lose 0 and 0 three times and somehow you’re still in.
5. Noticing parents who find ways to secretly coach their kids with hand signals.
Or as my mom would do, write notes and “discreetly” bring them out with a fresh water bottle.
6. Not pulling out your best outfits until at least the quarterfinals.
I know you do it too, boys.
7. Warming up before a match with your parent who’s terrible at tennis.
At least change out of the penny loafers, Dad.
8. Getting annoyed by kids who did the MOST when questioning a call.
“How many inches out was it?”
“I really don’t know, Candace because I don’t carry around a LeverLock measuring tape.”
9. And getting more annoyed by those who defended a call by pointing to a random mark on the court and claiming it was from your last shot.
That’s a shadow.
10. Having a crush who you only saw at tournaments on the weekend.
That way when your friends ask who your boyfriend is you can truthfully say, “He doesn’t go to this school.”
11. Carrying a cooler with enough drinks to hydrate an NFL team.
Your mom was a boss who bought you every flavor of Propel.
12. Eating at the same restaurant three meals in a row because there’s nothing else close by the tennis courts.
Quiznos again. Yum.
13. Scouting your next-round opponent and intently watching them play.
Chill, you’re 12.
14. Being bored AF when there was a rain delay.
We didn’t have smartphones until 2007, okay??
15. Somehow realizing you love the early mornings, the catty frenemies, the obsessive parents and everything else that comes with playing junior tennis.
USTA juniors 4 life.