Pam McDougal and Kim Lewis
By J. Fred Sidhu, special to USTA.com
A love for tennis is the common denominator among all of the players competing in the USTA League Adult 40 & Over 4.5 National Championships at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden this weekend.
But for two members of the Missouri Valley Section women’s team, that passion for tennis has taken the special bond between them to another level.
Identical twin sisters Kim Lewis and Pam McDougal, who were born in Tulsa, Okla., began playing tennis at age 13 after moving to a suburb of Chicago, where they lived near a high school with tennis courts.
“We had never picked up a racquet or had anything to do with tennis,” Lewis said. “My mom had an old wooden racquet in a wooden press, and we pulled it out, and then we went to a store and bought an aluminum racquet.”
Lewis and McDougal began playing tennis on the high school courts, and it wasn’t long before something happened that would stay with them forever.
“We caught the [tennis] bug,” said Lewis. “It was great because Pam and I always had someone to play with. We started playing high school tennis in the ninth grade, and we fell in love with it, and we never quit playing.”
The twin sisters continued to play high school tennis after moving to Atlanta, and eventually they played collegiate tennis together at the University of Georgia.
“We played doubles and had a great time,” said Lewis.
After their parents moved back to Oklahoma, McDougal transferred to Oklahoma State University, while Lewis graduated early from Georgia.
McDougal and Lewis, who now play tennis at The Greens Country Club in Oklahoma City, share many of the same values, but it is tennis that has brought them even closer together.
“Pam and I are very close on all levels. I feel blessed to have her as a twin sister.” Lewis said, as her team prepared to play an early-morning match on Saturday. “We play tennis together all the time. Growing up, we would do anything to be on a tennis court.”
“It’s such a privilege to be able to play a game that you truly love. The friendships we’ve made through tennis have been incredible,” Lewis said. “The opportunities, such as this weekend, are just such a joy.”
On Saturday afternoon at the National Championships, Lewis and McDougal, who have been playing USTA League tennis together for the last 10 years, were scheduled to partner in doubles for their final match in Flight No. 3 against the Caribbean Section women’s team.
Just prior to stepping on the court for her doubles match, McDougal said playing in a League National Championship with her sister was like a dream come true.
“It’s wonderful to be able to share it with your sister. The support we have for each other is hard to express,” McDougal said. “It’s super sweet and extra special because both of our husbands are here to share it.”
McDougal is a big supporter of USTA League tennis on and off the court.
“I absolutely love league tennis because it’s really cultivated an opportunity for so many friendships that go way beyond the court,” she said. “It’s a phenomenal experience.”
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