September, 2007
16 years old (Date of Birth: 7/22/1991)

He has a name that sounds like the game and it's working well for Tennys Sandgren. The 16 year old has dominated that age group with eight national titles in the last year.

"Tennys" was actually the Tennessee teen's great grandfather's name and it seemed like a perfect fit for a kid who had a dad that taught the sport and a mom who loved it. Even without the name, big brother Davey excelled in the juniors before heading to the University of Tennessee last year. Now it's time for Tennys to cause the racquet and he's doing it in a big way.

In 2006, Tennys did pick up the 16s top prize at the Kentucky International Derby, but it was 2007 that was really his year. He began by reaching the finals in February at the Columbus Indoors and then won a championship every month for the next six -- with two in April! First it was USTA/ITF in College Station, then the USTA International Spring Championahips and the Easter Bowl in April 2007. He finished May and June with trophies from USTA National Opens before picking up Gold Balls at the USTA National Claycourts and the Hardcourts at Kalamazoo. It was the last one that gave him his wildcard into his very first Grand Slam event.

Though he lost in the first round, Tennys made a splash at the U.S. Open, pushing French Open finalist Greg Jones of Australia to 4-6,6-2,7-6(5). He garnered quite a bit of publicity for his game and his name and I'm sure there's much more to come.

Tennys and I sat down at Kalamazoo while he was still beaming after his victory over James "Bo" Seal in the final.

by Marcia Frost


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