|Born||19 June 1995|
Jessica played her first Tennis Tournament at the age of 7 – she lost every single match, winning just one game.
The following year, she won this tournament at the age of 8.
Thereafter she excelled in her development (results are attached) and represented Western Province on many occasions.
At the age of 14, September 2009 she represented South Africa in the Under 14 World team Championships in Czech Republic.
That November, Jessica was given an opportunity of a life time. She went to live, eat and train tennis with current World Number One Ladies Doubles player, and former South African, Liesel Huber. She trained daily with Liesl and her team and worked closely with Mariaan de Swardt, another top South African player.
When Jessica returned to South Africa – she made up her mind – “I want to be a Tennis Pro”.
In January 2010, Jessica left Rustenburg Girls High School and Cape Town and moved to Johannesburg to train under the eye of one of the best current coaches in South Africa, Earl Grainger.
In January of that year she played SA Open Nationals event – took out the number three seed, Jessica Laing, and got through to the quarter finals where she lost in a close three setter to an Open player.
During the next year, Jessica started a rapid growth period and developed Bone Marrow bruising in her knees. She was forced to rest for 3 months, but continued on her CORE strengthening and muscle development.
In December 2010 she played her second tournament of the year, EP ITF and won her first round match, losing in the second round. She continued to train, through constant growing pains..….
In March 2011, she played her first ITF tournament in Potchefstroom and did incredibly well much to her coaches surprise. She won the Qualifying tournament beating 2 of the top current SA women along the way – those being: Jesse Grace and Mikhayla Morkel-Brink (ranked 5).
A Spanish coach, Riacrdo Rosilyn, and South African Coach Riaan Venter, from Potchefstrrom University High Performance Programme, both remarked that Jessica was one of the only Girls that they had seen in South Africa, that had any WEAPONS of any kind. Those being a HUGE serve and a HUGE forehand.
She lost in the first round, having played very well – to the 260 Junior Girl in the World.
Later that month, Jessica met International Coach and former Director of Israeli tennis Centres (ITC) Anthony Harris, in Cape Town.
Anthony explained to her, that she was entering the World Tennis business. That she was to be the MASTER of her ship, and that her Coach, her bio-kinetitist, her Psychological skills trainer, her fitness trainer – were all her CREW who were there to prepare her for her events.
He also explained to her that from age 13, European players are playing as many as 60 International Matches per annum, that they had many International friends and were very wise and acclimatised to travel and international events.
EXACTLY what our South African Children are missing.
He evaluated her play and has also commented that she has something that no other South African children have – weapons, guts and determination to succeed. She knows what she wants and she is going after it.
He set up a tournament schedule for Jessica (attached) and by the end of this year, she should have participated in 11 ITF tournaments and played over 60 matches, ¾ of which will be against International players.
The aim of this international travel is NOT to WIN – the aim is to get International MATCH practise so that each year, she can get stronger and more comfortable in her Match Play and move onto playing WTA Women’s events as soon as possible.
Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success.” Dr. Joyce Brothers
A stumble may prevent a fall.” English Proverb
“Unless you’re willing to have a go, fail miserably, and have another go, success won’t happen.” Phillip Adams
Dreams and Aspirations
I am currently in the ITF level of tennis. By the end of the year I would like to be ranked in the top 300 in the World as my current ranking is around the 1500 mark after playing 2 ITF’s.
In the long run I am aiming to play professional tennis – to be in the top 100 in the World.
I am currently training at GROWING SPORTS ACADENY with Anthony Harris as my coach. With a 6 day training programme, everyday fitness sessions and scheduled tournaments for the year, I am confident that I will achieve my goals.
Nadal and Victoria Azarenka are my current Role models.
Nadal is known for his unbelievable work ethic and desire to win, modesty and no matter the situation he tries his absolute best. He proves that technique is not the answer to success but how big your heart is and how badly you are willing to work for something.
Victoria Azarenka shows me someone who is committed and consistent. Yes, she hasn’t won a major title but has been in the top 10 in the World for a while and is slowly moving her way closer and closer the number one spot. She shows that consistent hard work and belief can take you places. Don’t give up on your dreams, failures along the way will just make you stronger for the future.
By Jessica Simpson