Speaking the Language of Tennis
Chiapas, Mexico native Veronica Cummings, embarked on a journey when she found herself in the United States after getting married. With an unwavering passion for tennis, Cummings was eager to build community in her new home and saw an opportunity to be an agent of change. She wanted to make tennis more inclusive and accessible especially among the Hispanic community.
In pursuit of this endeavor, Cummings felt it was important to become a certified tennis instructor so that she could help grow the game and go into communities that may not otherwise have access to tennis instruction. She became PTR Certified and began coaching, creating opportunities for those who, like herself, find inspiration in the world of tennis.
During our Centennial, we are sharing inspiring stories of the many people contributing to the legacy and future of tennis in the Mid-Atlantic region. Veronica sat down with us and shared her journey and the impact she envisions tennis can have on the lives of those in the Hispanic community.
When did you first get involved with tennis?
I started playing when I was around 10 years old. I come from a tennis family, my dad and mom used to play tennis, as did my sisters, and my grandfather. My dad’s friend, Jorge “El Yuca” Mendoza, team captain for Mexico in Davis Cup competition, inspired my love for tennis and passion for learning more about this beautiful sport.
What’s your first memory of tennis?
I have a lot of beautiful tennis memories. I remember traveling with a lot of kids to different tournaments around Mexico. We were part of one big tennis family, we supported each other, helped each other, and played as one big family trying to put our city on the map. Those friendships are still alive and a lot of us still play tennis.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I used to work as a Procurement and Purchasing Officer for the USDA in Mexico for a fly program.
In what ways has tennis become an important aspect in your life?
This sport has taught me many things that I’ve applied in my life and on the court. One thing I learned is respect, not only to your opponent but also to respect yourself. Perseverance, humility, integrity, and patience are other things the sport has taught me.
Tell me about some of the people you’ve met while working in the Mid-Atlantic or through your involvement with tennis?
I have met a lot of people through tennis. Each one of them has taught me something and I value all of them. I am open to learning new things that I can apply to my life and also to my coaching.
What has surprised you most about tennis and its impact in the Mid-Atlantic region?
The effort to create new tournaments and the creativity to keep people engaged in the game never fails to keep me on my toes.
This year is USTA Mid-Atlantic's 100th anniversary, in what ways do you think tennis has evolved in the region's Hispanic community over the last 100 years?
One of the most important ways tennis has evolved in the Mid-Atlantic region is the commitment to growing tennis within the Hispanic community. USTA Mid-Atlantic has made it their mission to help Hispanic players grow in the sport by providing training to beginners all the way to advanced players.
Why is it important to increase access to tennis in the Hispanic community?
I think there is a lot of talent within the Hispanic community and the new tennis programs available in the Mid-Atlantic are very successful in creating pathways for our community. You never know where you can find the next Number 1 player in the world.
What would you tell someone interested in getting involved in tennis?
Go out and find a tennis court! Make new friends, new memories, and create a new tennis family! Don’t be afraid to fail. Trust me you will get stronger and better as a person and as a tennis player. There are a lot of tennis coaches that would love to have you as a player and are willing to help you! Dream and work hard, your dream can come true.
Using a couple of words, how would you describe tennis in the Mid-Atlantic?
Caring and Fabulous.
Veronica Cummings' journey exemplifies the transformative power of tennis and inclusivity in the Mid-Atlantic region. Her encouraging words remind us that tennis is more than a sport; it's a community of care.
This year USTA Mid-Atlantic, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is celebrating 100 years of promoting tennis and its physical, social, and emotional health benefits. Get involved and show your support for the next 100 years of tennis. Learn about our impact in the region and how USTA Mid-Atlantic creates community, character, and well-being.