Monday, February 19, 2018

Big dreams for U-10 champ


Wimbledon aspirations: Kyle Kerry

Mark Fraser

At ten years old, Kyle Kerry already knows where he wants to go and what he needs to do to get there. The tennis player did not even know his family’s links to the sport, though his father, and grandfather, both named Winston, both of whom played the game.

Though Kyle’s father played at the youth level and rarely takes the court now but his grandfather, who turns 71 in October is still an avid player. Not knowing all of this, at the age of six, Kyle told his mother, Hafiza and his father of his desire to play the game.

Though expressive and mature on the tennis court where his fellow players call him “fancy shots”, Kyle was just like any other ten-year-old off the court. Asked why he wanted to play tennis instead of more the other popular sports in Trinidad and Tobago like cricket or football, Kyle’s simple answer was: “It looked like a more fun sport.”

And from that point, he was hooked winning the Catch National Junior Red Star winner in 2012 and winning doubles titles in the Sagicor Junior Tennis Tournament and RBC Tobago Junior Tennis Championship in 2013.

This year, he won the Catch National Junior Championship Under-10 title and was a finalist in the doubles competition. It probably was not surprise to his parents that their last son would get into sports, though the choice of tennis was probably a shocker.

But since then both his parents have done all they can to give him what help they can to fulfill his “big” dreams. They have no regrets about supporting Kyle because this is what he wants to do. Kyle’s desire to reach the top of the Tennis ladder drives him to put in the hours on the court, in the pool and in the classroom and he stressed that time management was the key for him.

“I hope to be the number one ranked player in the world one day. Even though I am ten years old, I have high dreams, high expectations and I hope I can reach my goal,” Kyle said. “I am willing to put out whatever it takes to get to where I’d like to be. I am only ten and I know I still have a lot to learn but this is just the beginning, I am willing to make sacrifices,” he added.

But while he has remarkably high hopes of success through sport, he recognises the need for education as a straight “A” student who dreams of becoming a mechanical engineer. Kyle is also a competitive swimmer. The pool, he says complements his tennis training and helps him relax.

His love for the water was no surprise though with his elder brother Ameer, 17, being a swimmer from the age of 6, and also a certified lifeguard at the age of 15.

This past month gave a good indicator of Kyle’s allegiance to tennis. The FIFA World Cup was just a distraction for him. The real battle for supremacy, for Kyle at least, was not in Brazil. It was taking place at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, in London, where his favourite players Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Roger Federer were doing battle.

While many dream of playing in a World Cup, Kyle dreams of playing at Wimbledon. It is a big dream but Kyle backs himself to get there.