Eighth-grader Aimee Zheng is a force to be reckoned with on the tennis court. Don’t judge her by her age. Though she is just an eighth-grader, her skill goes beyond her years.
Since the start of the season, she has carved out a vital role for herself on the KO girls tennis team. She has not lost a singles match yet this season, even though she plays girls much older than her on other teams.
Head Coach Ronald Garcia said that Zheng has improved a lot and that she has showed good mental toughness and competitiveness. “She is one of the new young players that will be the centerpiece of the team for a long time,” Coach Garcia said.
Senior Captain Emma Smith described Zheng as very determined to get a win. She said that Zheng is focused and resilient.
Zheng started playing tennis in third grade. She said it was hard to adjust to the team at first because she didn’t know anybody and had to balance between homework and tennis. But, overall she said that the tennis season is going well as the team is off to a strong start.
Zheng said that her goals for this season are not limited to her skills on the tennis court. She also hopes to grow as a person and teammate. She said that she needs to work on taking a loss better. “I want to improve my tennis technique and get better at the strokes in tennis,” she said. “I also want to know the team better and become friends with my teammates.”
Coach Garcia said that Zheng had a great comeback win against Hall. She was down 5-2 in the first set, but due to her tenacity, she came back to win 6-4 in the second set.
Zheng has been playing tennis year-round for two years now at the East Hartford Tennis Club. She has also previously played in the USTA (United States Tennis Association). She said that she has improved a lot since the team practices that took place this winter.
Freshman Captain Ahana Nagarkatti said that Zheng is very enthusiastic and incredibly determined. “Aimee is very enthusiastic and really goes for it,” Nagarkatti said.