Column: MY POINT Taylor Johnson interview and ‘Park of Tennis Fame’ event
Sixteen year-old Taylor Johnson, who spent her early years here in Prescott, going to Abia Judd elementary school, learning the game of tennis at the Prescott Racquet Club and then the ATA Junior Tennis Academy under the direction of USPTA Tennis coach Sterling Fetty at Prescott High School tennis facility, is making her mark in the world of tennis and at the highest junior levels.
This was a break out year for Taylor, playing all over the United States, South America and Europe, bringing her national junior girls 18 and under ranking low enough to qualify for the junior Grand Slams. of which she played her first Wimbledon and U.S. Open recently.
She made it to the 2nd round in singles at Wimbledon and the 3rd round at the U.S. Open and the quarter-finals in doubles at the Open.
It takes a lot of sacrifice and hard-work to reach this point in the world of tennis and we all wish her the best - read what she had to say.
- Your thoughts on your success at the U.S. Open, your first time playing there?
A: It was an amazing experience, the energy was crazy and playing such a big event in my home country was awesome. Definitely cherished every moment.
- Wimbledon - can you compare the likes of playing Wimbledon to the U.S. Open.
A: They are pretty opposite, Wimbledon is very classy and more calm, compared the the US open which is very hectic and busy. I really enjoy each of them.
- Heard you spent some time staying at BJK’s place in New York during the Open, how did that come about and what’s it like staying in the home of the person the Open in named after?
A: Yes, I sometimes stay at BJK’s when I’m in NYC. I got to stay with her a couple days before I played and it was great, I am truly blessed.
- With the success that you are having - what are the chances of playing more and more professional tournaments to gain WTA points?
A: I am going to start playing a lot of professional tournaments to get my WTA ranking up.
- What is your perspective of turning pro to going to college at the tender age of 16?
A:The ultimate goal for me is to go professional, but college first is not a bad idea. I guess I’m just taking it day by day and working toward my ultimate goal of turning pro.
- Do you ever think of Prescott any more as your home, or just a place you lived for a while?
A:Yes! I grew up in Prescott and have many special memories there. Prescott will always have a special place in my heart.
- Sponsorships - are they coming your way, and I’m guessing you have an agent at this point - how’s that working for you?
A: I do not have an agent, but I am sponsored by Nike for clothing and Wilson for rackets.
- Any idea what your new ranking will be?
A: After the open, I am ranked 27 in the world in the 18 and under.
- Any words for your Prescott tennis rooters?
A: Just a huge thanks! I am so thankful to have so much support from everyone. I couldn’t do it without you!!!
“2nd Annual PATA “Tennis Park of Fame” Clinic and Inductions”
The 2nd Annual PATA “Tennis Park of Fame” Clinic and Inductions will take place Sunday, October 2nd at the Yavapai College Tennis Center.
The day will begin with a bang - 6 courts of tennis professionals giving their best in creating a rotating clinic (30 minute rotations) of 36 participants learning different tennis strokes, strategies, and fun drills to enjoy from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The clinic cost is $30.00 per person and includes a bagged lunch and drink. To sign up for this fun event and reserve your spot e-mail email@example.com. All abilities are welcome and open to the first 36 people to sign up. The money made will go toward the new “Park of Fame” that is being built in front of court # 7.
The clinic will be followed by our 2016 inductions from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on court #7. There is no charge for attending the induction and everyone is welcome and wanted. The inductees for this year are:
Bernie Adams - local USPTA Tennis Professional
Lisa Cook - former PATA President and USTA Umpire
Robin Fox - long time PATA Treasurer and volunteer
Nannette Oately/Johnson - U.S. Open Champion in Wheelchair Events of Singles and Doubles - long time tennis volunteer in the Prescott area.
Edna Moglewer - One of the PATA Founders and long time tennis volunteer and promoter in the Prescott area.
We are looking forward to a great day of tennis fun followed by an interesting group of people who will be honored for the service they have provided to the tennis community over a long number of years. Please mark this day down on your calendar.
Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 40 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 928-642-6775 or firstname.lastname@example.org.