December, 2006
17 years old (Date of Birth: 2/12/1989)

For 17 year old Dennis Lajola, traveling to a tournament was not such an easy thing in his early junior years. All of the USTA National events were a long way from his Honolulu, Hawaii, home. Once he got used to the travel, however, Dennis took full advantage of his trips to the mainland and around the world to raise his ranking to the top nationally and internationally.

Dennis Lajola's debut in the top of the USTA National Rankings came in 2002 when the then 13 year old topped off his year of dominating Hawaiian events with fifth place at the Super National Winter Championships, finishing the year ranked 13 in the Boys' 14s. From there he began to branch out to international play and fine-tuned his doubles play. In the years since, his game has only continued to get better. In 2005, Dennis won the doubles title at Kalamazoo (with Nate Schnugg) where he was a singles semifinalist; the Loy Yang Power Traralgon in Australia (with Fumiaki Kita); made the singles finals of the Bangkok International & Easter Bowl; and teamed with Roberto Maytin to come in second place at the Copa Mundial Yucatan. This past year the duo played the finals at the Orange Bowl and the Eddie Herr Internationals. Dennis also made enough appearances in the final four to finsh 2006 ranked No. 44 in the ITF World Combined Rankings and No. 6 in USTA National Doubles.

While Dennis Lajola traveled around the mainland this past year he was doing more than playing tennis, he was making a movie. Dennis is one of five junior players who participated in Mad Dash Film's upcoming documentary. I sat down with Dennis at the Eddie Herr Internationals to talk about the film and his junior tennis accomplishments.

by Marcia Frost


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