16 yo and already ITF Pro Circuit Runner-up: interview with Alexa Graham

Alexa Graham is surely one on the young players to watch on the ITF Pro circuit in 2015.

She made a great debut this year reaching the final at Fort-de-France 10k, beating top 500 (Guarachi) and top 300 (Ramialison) opponents.

Alexa_Graham_Sumter_SC_10K_WQS_R3_7921

I could never watch you so please describe yourself on tennis court: your best side and your weakness

I enjoy playing in a competive atmosphere and learning from the experience of playing players with high talent.

What is your favourite surface?

I train on Har Tru and Hard Courts, but Hard Courts are definitely my favorite.

I read that you are coached by Anna Bielen-Zarska, is this right? From how long time is she following you?

Yes, Anna has been coaching me for about three years now! We work really well together and I love training with her every day.

Did you travel to Martinique with her or with family?

I traveled to Martinique with one of my hitting coaches, Eric Bratt.

Do you have any sponsor?

I’m on Babolat’s national team and they provide me with equipment.

Do you have any pre-match rituals?

Before my matches I warm up all my strokes and sharpen anything that seems to be off.

Does cheering from the stands help to get you play better play or not ? Especially in foreign tournaments

I always enjoy playing in front of a crowd, no matter where it is.

What was the best match you’ve ever played?

When I was 14 years old playing a 10k in Pennsylvania I won my first wta point. We split sets and then I was down 5-2 and a match point in the third set and came back to win the match.

What is your favourite tennis player and why?

I like Maria Sharapova because she is very competitive on the court. She is always intense and aggressive. She also has the ability to come back from adversity and injury.

You are very young: how can you put together tennis and your education?

I’m an online high school student. It’s a big commitment and takes a lot of coordination and planning.

You played only one ITF junior tournament, why?

I’ve only played one junior ITF tournament because my coach and I thought it was better to invest the resources in playing pro circuit events.

Do you have any relation with other good US junior girls (Bellis, Neel, Kenin, Gordon etc..?)

I’ve made a lot of good friends through tennis including Ingrid Neel, Jessie Aney, and Alexis Nelson. Even though we dont live close to each other, we manage to stay in touch.

Describe the differences between ITF and USTA tournaments (organization, atmosphere, courts etc)

ITF tournaments are run more professionally and you are usually only playing one match a day.

Three things/rules you would change on Pro Circuit if you had the power

Each match should have a definite start time, there should be line judges on all the lines for every match, and to be given the oppurtunity to talk to your coach between split sets.

What is your schedule for beginning of 2015?

I’m going down to Florida next weekend for a national open. I also plan on playing the two 10ks in Florida in March.

What is your goal for 2015? Just stay healthy and improve your game or do you have a ranking goal?

This year I want to compete in as many pro events as possible and keep improving my ranking.

What are your interests? What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

The weekends that I’m home I always like going to the movies and the mall with my friends.

Your favourite movie?

My favorite movie is The Internship. I laugh everytime I watch it!

And music?

I really like Taylor Swift’s new album.

Thanks for the interview and best of luck for your career!

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