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USTA Southwest's Corley Playing Beyond Her Years

October 21, 2011 03:45 PM
Precocious 10-year-old Carmen Corley (horizontal) has lifted her Alburquerque team to the cusp of a National Championship.
By Katie Timinsky, special to USTA.com

SURPRISE, Ariz. - Tennis is considered by the people who play as "the sport for a lifetime." From the 10 and Under ranks all the way to centenarians, you can find all ages enjoying and excelling at the game. When taking to the court, age becomes a number – and nothing exemplifies that mindset at the 2011 Jr. Team Tennis National Championships more so than the presence of 10-year-old Carmen Corley of Alburquerue, New Mexico.

Carmen, a member of the 14U Intermediate LPTA Wolves team representing USTA Southwest, is the youngest player in this year’s tournament.  At just 10 years of age and just a handful of years on the court, Carmen already possesses more talent than the older kids she competes against. "If you saw her out on the court you’d never be able to guess that all that skill comes from a 10 year-old," stated Carmen’s coach Christine Peters.

"It’s really cool to be the youngest one on the team," Carmen said. "It lets me show everyone what I can do."

Carmen began playing tennis four years ago when she was just 6 years-old. Her love for the sport came from her big sister, Ivana, who is also competing at this year’s National Championship in the Advanced division.

"My sister and I play against each-other a lot," Carmen commented. "Most of the time she wins but I have beaten her twice."

Carmen and her sister aren’t the only ones in the family who play tennis. "I have twin cousins who play tennis too," Carmen said. "They are 4 years-old and play 10 & Under tennis. I can’t wait until they get older so I can play with them too."

Although Carmen is only 10 she already feels passionately about the sport and realizes that it’s more than just a game. "I like playing tennis because I get to make new friends and do something fun every day. It’s great when we win but I have fun no matter how the match ends."

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