Ashley Harkleroad is an American former professional tennis player, who reached a career-high ranking in singles of No. 39 in 2003. After retiring from tennis, she gave birth to two beautiful children.
Join us as Namita Nayyar, President Women Fitness talks to Ashley about life as and after being a professional tennis player.
Being introduced to tennis at four, when were you first introduced to the larger world of tennis?
I was first introduced to the tennis world at 9 years old when my parents took to me to a tournament called the Family Circle Cup in Hilton Head, SC. I saw Amanda Coetzer play and I was instantly a fan! Later in life when I was 17 I made it to the semi finals in singles and doubles at the Family Circle Cup beating two top 10 players AND Amanda Coetzer and I are very good “mommy” friends now, our kids have playdates and Amanda and I like to hike together. How Ironic?!
Having won so many tournaments and championships, which victory do you think is closest to your heart?
Actually the Victory that stands out the most would be Fed Cup in 2005 when I help defeat Germany in front of my home crowd and country. I remember I clinched the win after beating Sabine Lisicki and our coach Zina Garrison handed me the American Flag and I ran around the court while the flag blew in the wind in true celebratory style while the crowd cheered my name. Very cool moment!
Advice for tennis beginners?
Well, I have two of my very own tennis beginners. My son is 9 and just won his first tennis tournament and my daughter is 7. My advice for them is number one have fun! It sounds cliché but if you are not having fun then its a waste of time in the end. Number two (I get tougher) always have a good attitude. These two go hand in hand because obviously if your not having fun you”ll probably have a crappy attitude. Number three, be patient with yourself. Tennis is a very intense technical sport to learn and it takes many many years to perfect it, and even then you will never fully perfect it, unless of course if your name is Roger Federer!
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