From New York to Paris
Rising tennis star gets ready for the international stage
As May came to a close, some of the world's best tennis players descended on Paris, France, to compete in the French Open. From May 27 through June 10, international tennis greats will compete for one of the most prestigious championships in the sport.
But as the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Maria Sharapova prepared for the tournament, a rising tennis star from New York was getting ready for her own moment on the international stage.
Eleven-year-old Rachel Lim won the Longines Future Tennis Aces on the Road to the French Open tournament in April. The event was held at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York. Rachel beat out 15 other girls from across America for the opportunity to go to Paris and compete in an international tournament. If she beats out 15 more girls (this time from all over the world), Rachel will have the chance to play former number one women's tennis player Steffi Graf prior to the French Open.
"Winning the tournament reinforced to me that I have to work a lot harder" so she could achieve more moments like that, Rachel said.
She told me that since the tournament she has been practicing a lot harder. She also played in the May National Open and a sectionals tournament on Long Island last week.
But just because she's a rising tennis star doesn't mean she can skip out on school. She said that her teachers have been giving her work and she has been keeping up with it fine. Balancing school and tennis hasn't been a problem, she said.
Rachel leaves on her trip to Paris this week. She told me that she has been working really hard to prepare for the trip and the tournament.
She is really looking forward to playing all the people from different counties and hopefully gets to meet a few new faces. But as a tennis fan, she's excited to experience the famous courts where the French Open is played.
"I'm really looking forward to playing at Roland Garros (the site of the French Open), and see what those red clay courts are like," Rachel said.
At the end of our interview, Rachel said she might be a little bit nervous for her trip and playing in an international tournament. "But it's more like an excited feeling to do this."
Check out Kid Reporter William Russell's recap of the Longines Future Tennis Aces tournament!
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