Local High School Sophomore Aims to Play Professsional Tennis

By HALEY CASTILLO

Darian DeFrench, a 15-year-old sophomore at Cartersville High School, has been playing
tennis for 11 years and is currently training to play within the professional field.

DeFrench has been playing tennis since she was 4 years old. She looks forward to showing
off her hard work and commitment in the near future.

With the plan of taking a year off from college to travel in an attempt to pursue a professional career, DeFrench couldn’t be more excited.

“I am definitely ready to play professionally,” she said. “I have been training for so long. I’m so ready to show everybody what I can do.”

With already five consecutive tournament wins in 2013 and professional tournaments
lined up for the next three weekends, DeFrench is making sure there is no possibility of her being overlooked by professional scouts.

“I know they are looking at me,” she said. “They’ve sent my mom some emails. They come
out to watch and if they like the way you play, they will sponsor you and give you money toward going pro.”

Although she is barely a teenager, DeFrench is no stranger to dedication. Her weekly
schedule consists of three-hour practices Monday through Thursday, high school matches on Friday, and professional tournaments on Saturday and Sunday.

While she knows her hard work will eventually pay off, DeFrench understands that she
is missing out on some aspects associated with the teenage lifestyle.

“I know I’ve probably missed out on a lot of fun memories that I would have had,” she said. “I mean, it’s hard when your friends invite you somewhere and you can’t go because you have practice. But I know it’s all going to be worth it.”

With her parents and two younger siblings making up her most important fan club, DeFrench has the confidence she needs to go into her challenge completely and without hesitation.

“I know that my family has my back,” she said. “They have done so much for me and put
so much time into my dream. It’s only because of them that I’ve even been given this chance.”

DeFrench plans on having her family by her side throughout her entire fight to become a professional tennis player.

Kelly DeFrench, Darian’s mother and biggest fan, has the upmost belief that her
daughter will succeed within the professional field.

“Her coach believes that she can be pro and so do I,” Kelly DeFrench said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that we will see her competing with the best of them one day. And I promise you she can hold her own.”

With a dedication of 15 hours per week for practice and an average of eight hours per
weekend for actual play, Kelly DeFrench has developed her own form of commitment to the sport.

“It’s like playing the sport for myself,” she said. “I’m at all the practices, I’m at all the matches, I put in all the time. My other children have had to come to terms with the fact that Darian’s tennis comes first. And they are just fine with that.”

With  more than 10 years of playing experience under her belt and a heart that’s armed and ready to fight for what it wants, Darian DeFrench is excited to head toward her goal of playing professional tennis. She will stop at nothing.

“Just keep an eye out for her,” Kelly DeFrench said. “She’s put her mind to this, and there’s no stopping her. I have no doubt that in the next few years, she will be sponsored to play professionally.”

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