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U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

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Audio: U-High girls tennis players grow their skill through private lessons

Several+U-High+tennis+team+players+also+take+private+lessons+during+the+off-season.+These+players+have+grown+their+tennis+skills+through+two+distinct+ways%2C+and+their+intersection+has+impacts+both+on+and+off+the+court.
Henry Benton
Several U-High tennis team players also take private lessons during the off-season. These players have grown their tennis skills through two distinct ways, and their intersection has impacts both on and off the court.

Natural sound: Tennis game

That is the sound of a tennis match, an activity junior Sofia Ansari frequents. Sofia is one of several players who are on the U-High tennis team while also taking private lessons during the off-season. These players have grown their tennis skills through two distinct ways, and their intersection has impacts both on and off the court.

Sofia began playing tennis at 10 years old when her parents signed her up, but she really enjoyed the sport and decided to stick with it.

“I guess it started as something that my parents signed me up for and then I began to like. I really enjoyed it, and I joined the tennis team in school, and that was nice so I wanted to just keep up that skill and not, like, lose what I, like, built up, and so I just kept playing.”

Ninth Grader Isabelle Ji has a similar story, as her parents signed her up for tennis too.

“I was switching around sports a lot. I did, like, gymnastics, ballet and I didn’t really, like, many of ’em. And then my mom, I think she was the one who got into, like, a tennis lesson, and I was naturally just kind of good at it, so we stuck with it.”

The duality of practicing tennis both at school and privately has caused complications for Sofia. In previous years, Sofia seeked to improve her skills for the sake of the team, but recently, she’s started playing for herself.

“I think just me realizing that no matter how good I am, there’s always going to be someone better than me. And that no matter how much work I put in, even if there’s another person who hasn’t played as much as me, but is better, then that person is going to get my spot. So I’m just like, yeah, I’m just going to play for myself.”

Taking tennis lessons doesn’t just impact the ability to do the sport. For Isabel, practicing tennis has had an impact beyond the court.

“It also just helps, like, boost my confidence. So before I was really struggling to talk, speak up in class, but in tennis you have to, like, put yourself out there to be exposed and judged and wins are, can be, tough. Losses are especially tough ’cause you’re the only one handling on the court. Uh, so I guess it just kinda helped me grow as a person.”

From a 10-year-old first stepping onto a tennis court to a high schooler playing on their school team, Sofia and Izzy may be far from where they started, but one thing remains, their love for tennis.

Natural sound: Tennis game

Reporting for the U-High Midway, I’m Neha Dhawan.

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About the Contributors
Neha Dhawan
Neha Dhawan, Reporter
Neha Dhawan is a member of the Class of 2025. She began journalism as a junior. She enjoys creative writing, especially poems, songs and short stories and is on the girls golf team.
Henry Benton
Henry Benton, Photographer
Henry Benton is an editor and a member of the Class of 2025. His favorite part of photojournalism is being with a team. The most fulfilling part of PhotoJ is seeing your photos in the paper. Outside of photojournalism Henry enjoys boxing, music and video games. Awards: 2022 Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Circle Award: Photo slideshow, certificate of merit (with Andrew Burke-Stevenson, Malcolm Taylor, Matt Petres, Chloe Ma and Patrice Graham), “Photo gallery: Faculty face off in Homecoming arm wrestling tournament”

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