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Missouri Valley / Iowa

Ken Fu Finds His Calling in Tennis

Andrea Gallagher | April 25, 2022

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. USTA Iowa is profiling Ken Fu, who works at the Quad City Tennis Club.


Originally from Tianjin, China, Ken Fu wanted to play tennis growing up, but because it was considered a “rich sport” he could only watch others play and pick up balls for them. That all changed when he moved to Iowa and attended Bettendorf Middle School.


“One day, my grandpa took me to an indoor facility for a badminton lesson (in China), and then I saw that gorgeous tennis court,” he recalled. “Since that day, I convinced my parents to get me into a tennis lesson. However, we could not afford a lesson. When I moved to Iowa, my ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher encouraged me to play and let me borrow her racquet. I have been playing ever since.”

Fast-forward nine years and Ken is now a tennis instructor at the Quad City Tennis Club, and also working on his Master of Science in business analytics. His favorite part about playing tennis is it helped him make many friends and is also a form of stress relief. He particularly enjoys working with young people.


“I care about my students, and take time to connect with them and be their friend, not a teacher,” he said. “I also help push them to reach their tennis and life goals.”


As for the future, the 25-year old hopes to work more with the First Racquet Academy, which is a youth development program created by the Quad City Tennis Club. The goal is to teach tennis and pickleball to underserved youth in the local community.


“I have learned much from tennis and I would like to give back to the community,” he said, by reinforcing the values of good sportsmanship, dedication and perseverance through tennis and pickleball.


When he’s not on the tennis court, Ken also enjoys playing basketball and ping pong. For more on the Quad City Tennis Club, click here:


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