By J. Fred Sidhu, special to USTA.com
For Judy Knox of West Richland, Wash., getting the opportunity to play at the USTA League Adult 18 & Over 5.0+ National Championships is special for two reasons: daughters Kasey and Molly, who are also part of the USTA Pacific Northwest section squad trying to win it all.
The Knox family accounts for three of the five team members playing in Indian Wells, Calif.
“It’s a joy to play with both of them,” said the 57-year-old matriarch of her daughters. “It’s just a lot of fun, especially to be here out on the court with them. They are very supportive of me and that really helps. They keep me going and they think I can still play on their team.”
In the past, Kasey, age 27, and Molly, age 25, have played in USTA Mother-Daughter national tournaments with their mother. In fact, Molly won a gold ball and Kasey captured a silver ball while partnering with Judy in doubles. In 2004, Kasey won a Washington state high school championship playing for Hanford High School.
Judy Knox and her two daughters aren’t the only 5.0 players in the family: her husband, Rob, is a teaching professional and a former college player at the University of Idaho. Her son, Jake, followed in his father's footsteps and became a fixture on the Vandals’ men's varsity team.
“We’re really lucky to have everyone in our family play tennis so we always have something to do together,” Molly said. “Being able to come out and play at a national tournament really gives all of us something to work towards for staying in shape. It’s good family time.”
Kasey Knox echoed her sister’s thoughts.
“I don’t know anyone else that gets the chance to come down to a national tournament and play not only with their mom, but their sister,” she said. “It would be really special [to win]. It would be really awesome.”
When asked what the key was for each member of her family to reach the 5.0 level, Kasey responded: “A lot of practice and a lot of ‘tenniscations.’ I remember pretty much anywhere we went, we brought the tennis bag. We did that in Mexico and Hawaii and all the family trips we took. It was really fun and we all liked doing it.”