TALKING WITH... SHINANN FEATHERSTON
16 years old (Date of Birth: 6/8/1990)
There have been a number of players that have touched my life and Shinann Featherston is definitely among them. Her tennis has always been enormously impressive, but the bubbly girl from Rockaway Beach has always looked on the bright side of every point of life and the game of tennis.
School and family are a big priority to Shinann and as the third tennis-playing daughter (sisters Martina & Eleanora now play for Fordham University) she hasn't had the opportunity to play a lot of tournaments on the national schedule. Those she has entered, however, she has taken full advantage of, making quarters, semis and finals almost every time. Her placement brought her to the top 10 nationally in the Girls 12s, 14s and 16s, where she reached No. 3 last year (as well as No. 1 in doubles with constant partner Lindsay Clark). In her short time in the 18s, the 16 year old made it to No. 15 in singles and No.3 in doubles this summer.
Shinann, who currently trains at the USTA Billy Jean King National Tennis Center and has also trained at the Port Washington Tennis Academy, was recently the top player on the 2006 winning Girls' 18 National Team (the first time the Eastern Section has won this in 63 years). Also in the past year she played her first ITF event, making the quarterfinals of the Chanda Rubin Illinois after defeating two seeds, and won the doubles (and reached the singles quarters) of the first 18s National she played.
Despite the fact that she doesn't have a lot of gold balls yet, there's no shortage of trophies in Shinann's bedroom. She has been a top finisher in eastern sectional tournaments every year she has played and has captured both New York City and New York State High School Championships the last two years.
The middle child of five was born to two New York City Fire Fighters. Though her mom retired in 2001, her dad is now an NYFD Chief who is an integral part of U.S. Open security while her 12 year old brother Kilby enters his third year as a ball boy. (8 year old brother Bard also gave it a try, but admits he doesn't have the "patience.") Shinann Featherston is currently waiting to see if she will play in singles and/or doubles at the 2006 U.S. Open Junior Championships, but there is no doubt that she's going to leave her mark on New York.
Shinann and I sat down for her interview at -- of course -- the National Tennis Center.
by Marcia Frost
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