Jennifer Paddock, tennis professional at Alabama’s Lakewood Club recently hosted a UTR Powered Event for her community and reached out to Team UTR to share an inspiring story from her event. Eleven-year old Anna (UTR 3.0) was really nervous to hit the center court for her first-ever competitive tennis event. Now, after overcoming nerves and playing a great match (against a 41-year old!) Anna’s goal is to become a professional tennis player! Here’s Jennifer’s story: There was a good vibe to the tourney. Everyone thought it was such a cool idea that people of different ages/gender play based on level. It really was about the pleasure of playing tennis. Our club (The Lakewood Club) is in Point Clear, Alabama, which is on Mobile Bay, and deeply southern with twisting live oaks, giant magnolias. We have 9 green clay courts, and when you’d look out through the sunny haze at the huge mix of people—top juniors, beginners who were adults and kids—you’d see decades of life. Our draws were Level 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 9. The picture is of Anna (age 11) and Brad Fuller (age 41). They were in Level 3. Anna won 6-4, 6-0. It was her first tournament. She told me she was “most nervous because we were on Stadium. Everyone was watching. The first set was close because neither of us had won one before.” This was a consolation match—Anna lost 6-0, 6-0 in her first round, and Brad lost 6-1, 6-0. She said the reason why the first set was close was that “if I hit it soft to him, he’d slam it. With adults, I try to hit it short, but it kept going into the net.” In the second set, she changed her strategy. “So in order for him not to slam it, I hit hard and had to be consistent. I really cared if I won.” She said they talked on their breaks when they changed sides. “About our strokes. It was friendly. I wasn’t tired or anything.” Anna ended up winning the consolation, but in that final, she split sets. She said she was tired after that. UTR has positively impacted their game. In our new series, we’ll share their stories with you and highlight the work they’re doing on and off the court. Tell us how you use UTR! You can send us a note, or share your story with @MyUTR and #GetRated Featured Photo: The picture is of Anna A. (age 11) and Brad Fuller (age 41). They were in Level 3. Anna won 6-4, 6-0. It was her first tournament.