Missouri Valley / Heart Of America

Love of Tennis Comes Full Circle

Sydney Hamilton | February 18, 2022


Hi! I’m Sydney Hamilton, the new Digital Assistant for USTA Kansas and USTA Heart of America, and I’m so excited to be a part of the game I love–in a whole new way.


I didn’t fall in love with tennis when I first picked up a racquet as a young kid in Colorado. My parents were both avid tennis players when I was growing up, and they were excited to see if the sport was something I’d come to love as well. 

 

I’ll admit—it took a few tries to get into it. Like, a lot of tries.

 

As most kids do, I tried a slew of different sports and activities aside from tennis, and soccer and basketball became my passion through my freshman year of high school. I loved the camaraderie of being part of a team and the competitiveness of playing at a high level. However, injuries and burnout started cropping up and, after my freshman varsity season of soccer, I put away my cleats for good. I just didn’t love it anymore. Basketball followed shortly thereafter.

Since sports were a huge part of my life up until that point, I was left wondering what else I could play where I could still enjoy competition and feel that camaraderie. And since my parents were both still playing in USTA Leagues—at this point in their 40s and 50s—I saw first-hand how tennis was a sport where you could be competitive, make friends, and still play for a lifetime. I asked my parents if I could take some lessons, and they were all for it. I started shortly thereafter, and quickly found that tennis was the sport for me and what I’d been looking for all along.

 

During drills and in-house leagues at our local racquet club, I was able to meet new friends who went to different schools; there was that camaraderie I was looking for. And after a few months of regular playing, I signed up for the USTA and played in my first junior tournament—yep, there’s the competition. That tournament was the first of many I’d play in USTA Intermountain as a junior. I would also go on to try out for and make the varsity tennis team as #1 singles my sophomore year of high school—a position I’d hold until I graduated. It was an honor, and my teammates were truly amazing people, and I’m still close with some of them today.

 

After high school, I attended the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, where I tried out for its tennis team. I made it as a walk-on, though as a freshman I didn’t see playing time and the team was disbanded shortly thereafter. It was a bummer, but I still made it a point to play in USTA tournaments throughout college, my favorite of which were the father-daughter tournaments I played in with my dad. I’ll hold onto those memories forever.

 

After moving from Colorado to Florida and then to Missouri, where I now live, I bounced around and played in some recreational leagues, but I haven’t been playing USTA-sanctioned tennis for a while. I miss it—a lot—and I hope to get back into “fighting” shape so I can hit the courts with some of you soon.

 

Outside of tennis, I work as a freelance copywriter and editor. I also love spending time with my family, friends, and my two sweet rescue dogs, Buddy and Benny. I enjoy going to concerts, painting, going on road trips, watching terrible comedies and Netflix shows, and spending time outdoors whenever possible.

 

I’m beyond grateful to have this opportunity to work for the USTA Missouri Valley writing about tennis, and I hope you can feel my love of the game in every story I write. My tennis journey truly has come full circle, and I couldn’t be happier to be here with you all!

Skip Advertisement

Advertisement

Related Articles

  • Russell Lokko, a high school tennis standout who played for St. Thomas Aquinas right here in our district, has been awarded the Donald Lawson Tisdel College Scholarship Award in the amount of $40,000 from the USTA Foundation! Read More
  • Visit the Night Nets Program page
    Night Nets Program
    August 03, 2023
    More than 50 children from Kansas City, ranging in ages from 9 to 18, participated in this year’s Mayor’s Night Nets, a six-week program that helps introduce them to the benefits of sports in a positive, educational setting, as well as other programming beneficial to their lives and livelihoods. Read More
  • The Plaza Tennis Center has been busy hosting several USTA Missouri Valley tournaments this summer, including the NTRP 40+ and Open Section Championships. Read More