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Athlete Spotlight: Rocky Li leads Mens tennis to State Final victory

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Junior Rocky Li practices tennis on Nov. 11. Li said he would really enjoy going D2 or D3 to play tennis. (Submitted Photo: Rocky Li)

How did you get started in tennis?

I’ve been playing since I was 5, as my dad told me to play a bunch of different sports like soccer, volleyball, and tennis was one of them. I kind of just ended up sticking with tennis after a few years. 

What does a typical practice look like?

We usually start by warming up for about 15 to 20 minutes. After that, I usually do consistency drills, not trying to kill the ball, just practicing how long I can hit the rallies for. After that, we get into playing matches and sets. 

Junior Rocky Li practices his serve for tennis on Nov. 11. Li said anyone can get into the sport and how its not limited to any certain age group. (Submitted Photo: Rocky Li)

How did it feel winning the last point in the championship match?

It felt good because last year I lost the point that kicked us out of the tournament. It was kind of gratifying, knowing that I wasn’t a complete failure. 

What is the team dynamic like?

Our leaders are definitely the seniors; they basically (tell us what we’re doing), they keep (drills) organized and fun. I guess, we’re just a group of friends. We’re not out to fight for spots. We’re just all one team. 

What keeps you motivated to play tennis?

Seeing the faces of my opponent when they lose. I’m a competitive person, so I just feel gratified knowing that I worked hard and won a match.

What are your future plans for tennis?

 I definitely want to play college tennis, maybe D2 or D3. I’m just going to see where it takes me, I guess. Right now, I have more fun playing the sport; I don’t really care about the results as much as I used to. Every time I go to practice, it’s just a blessing.

What life lessons has playing tennis taught you?

That you have to be patient and you definitely have to work for your goals. It’s not like the other opponent is going to let you win, so just sticking through those tough situations and basically locking in when you need to has been one of the (lessons) I have learned. 

What is your advice for someone who wants to start playing tennis?

Everybody can get into it, all ages, as it’s not a physical contact sport. Basically, if you really wanted to, you could just pick up a racket and go to any court, since there’s clubs all around Carmel. So just find free time and you can start getting into it from there. 

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    chase thorpeNov 20, 2023 at 3:29 pm

    Awesome!

    Reply