Nov 23, 2008 Sports
Could she be the next Venus or Serena?
By Rawle Welch
Her name is Sachia Vickery, born in the United States of America to Rawle Vickery and Paula Liverpool on November 5, 1995; she is black, talented and rated the #1 Under-14 tennis player in the world.
Vickery is presently visiting Guyana, the land of her parents’ birth for a brief holiday, but has not been idle, beating up on every player who has been provided for her, displaying the special talent and athleticism that has been the talk of the tennis world since her arrival on the junior circuit.
Currently attending the world renowned Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy located in Brandenton, Florida, a facility made famous for having produced players such as Pete Sampras, Andre Aggasi, Jennifer Capriati, Jim Courier and Boris Becker, Sachia, whose first involvement in the sport started at the tender age of five years has developed into one of the most dominant juniors on the world circuit according to the reviews of many experts of the game who has witnessed her play during her brief career.
The young sensation has made remarkable strides since she was first introduced to the game after repeatedly exclaiming to her mom that she was going to be the next Serena Williams.
“It all started when she saw a racquet in a store whilst shopping with grandma and pleaded with her to buy it. After that I suddenly knew that I had to get someone to coach Sachia since she was relentless in her request to become the next Serena Williams,” Liverpool said.
The short, but powerfully built Vickery, who the reputable Bollettieri refers to as a ‘powerhouse’ has already won numerous accolades on the circuit and many feel that if she retains her current focus and intensity could even surpass the achievements of the Williams sisters.
Whilst practicing at the Le Meridien Pegasus Hardcourts last Thursday, she was watched by family, friends, tennis coaches and players and they all expressed similar sentiments which were that she is destined to take over the tennis world shortly.
The precocious teenager from Miramar, Florida won her first International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournament she was eligible to play without dropping a single set.
It was an Under-18 tournament and the title came just two weeks after she had turned 13 so it was indeed a remarkable accomplishment.
Vickery has won prestigious tournaments such as the Easter Bowl and Gator Bowl and recently represented the USA at the World Juniors Championships where they won both the boys and girls titles.
She is sponsored by Nike and Prince, one of the leading manufacturers of racquets.
Meanwhile, ITF Accredited Level 1 Coach Debbie Bunbury, who witnessed Vickery in action against Guyana’s No.1 player Phillip Squires, said she was extremely impressed with her ability and felt that she has a bright future.
“I’m very, very impressed, she has nice clean strokes which were delivered with a lot of depth and daring angles,” Bunbury observed.
Bunbury indicated that Vickery has a well balanced game, but needed to work on her serves a little more.
“From what I’ve seen so far, she is equally strong on both the forehand and backhand strokes. Her attitude has remained the same throughout the session and you can see that even though it is a practice game, she still exhibits a lot of tenacity which says a lot for her seriousness and commitment,” Bunbury added.
Bunbury also expressed admiration for her court coverage which she referred to as a very important feature in the sport.
She cautioned, however, the importance of her parents and coaches guiding her through the important phases of her career which would and not allow her to suffer from ‘burnout’, as was the case with Capriati and a few other young talents.
She voiced optimism that with the Guyanese blood in her and the challenges she conquered to become the best U-14 player in the world she will be able to avoid such pitfalls.
“I think she is on that path to stardom and in my opinion we will be hearing more about her very soon,” Bunbury stated.
Veteran player Rudy Grant, who is the brother of the famous singer Eddie Grant uttered similar emotions about Vickery. “What I’m seeing is a replica of the Williams sisters and it will come down to how much she wants it,” Grant said.
He added that a lot of things can happen along the way such as injuries; other distractions etc, but trusted that she stays focused. “There are hundred of thousands of young players dreaming to become the next superstar and she has already worked her way to the #1 spot so it is only a matter of time, before she makes it to centre stage.”
“I give her one more year and with the fortune of being with Bollettieri, he will ensure that she gets all the opportunities available.’
Kaieteur Sport wishes Sachia a very successful career.
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