ADDICTS IN RAREFIED AIR
AT 2017 18U JTT NATIONALS
Dan Pyser | September 29, 2017
The Tennis Addicts, the USTA Mid-Atlantic 18U intermediate champions, come to this year’s Junior Team Tennis National Championships looking for a third consecutive Nationals title.
Coach Jackson Tsai has twice led his team to the 18U intermediate national championship, in 2015 and 2016, returning for a third year in a row with his team that hails from Baltimore County, Md. One key difference: this year's squad looks very different from the mostly similar team that won a title the previous two years..
“I was surprised to be back here with a brand new team,” Tsai said. “For sure, Sectionals were so tough, we barely squeaked by.
“They’re young, they’re vibrant. They need some guidance but they’re a good bunch.”
Tsai has been involved with USTA Junior Team Tennis since 2010. He coached his older son, who is now in college, through years of JTT. ADVERTISEMENT Tsai’s daughter, Olivia, is on this year’s team and is why he’s still involved with a program that his given so much to his kids.
“The best part of JTT, and I can attest to this, is my kids, they gained such valuable friendships,” he said, noting that those friendships have endured the years. Tsai said his son still spends time with his former JTT teammates during college breaks.
“Both of my kids were USTA junior tournament players,” Tsai said. “They felt like it was very isolated so this is fun for them. They like the team aspect of it, the camaraderie.”
As far as his expectations for this year’s team, he just wants them to enjoy the experience.
“I told them to do their best, focus on your mental game out there and really enjoy each other’s company," he said. "I really think they’re already winners just by getting here.”