STEPHENS CITY – Tucker Myers has steadily made his way up Sherando’s boys tennis lineup.
The senior is playing at No. 2 singles this season and said that all the experience he’s had the past few years has helped him.
He said that it was his sophomore season, when he played at No. 5 singles, that he gained the most valuable experience.
“I think at that point I was still trying to learn everything, and I think that was when everything started to fall into place,” Myers said. “I was trying to get a better idea of what was going on – a better understanding, I guess.”
Myers said he started playing tennis in fifth grade because his sister Alison played at Sherando, and he thought it would be a good sport to try.
His freshman season Myers said he played a little at No. 6 singles and at No. 3 doubles. After a solid season at No. 5 singles, his sophomore season, Myers made the jump to No. 3 singles last year.
Myers said it was definitely a difference playing at No. 5 singles to playing at No. 3, but he felt like he handled the jump up in levels. He said at the upper levels players tend to have more experience playing.
“At No. 5 you’d be playing freshmen and sophomores,” Myers said. “At No. 3 you’re playing seniors and juniors. So these are kids that have been playing as long as me or even longer.”
Myers said he tries to have versatility in his game and enjoys being able to use different shots out on the court.
“I try hitting with more topspin, so I can get more control,” Myers said. “I try to just move people around to set the points up better for myself and then put in some power when I need to here and there. I like doing different things. You can slice the ball. You can put heavy topspin on the ball. You can do a lot of things, and I like that.”
Myers said one thing that’s helped his game improve has been playing in clinics at Winchester Country Club. He said in the offseason he often plays in the clinics about once a week. Myers, who said he has also participated in clinics at Stonebrook Club in Winchester, said playing against other strong competition has helped his game.
“(In the clinics) there’s some kids from Handley,” Myers said. “There’s some kids that are homeschooled. There’s some kids that are not from this area. Some of these kids are really good players. So it kind of gave me a little bit more motivation to go out there and just play my best.”
First-year Sherando coach Garland Williams has filled in as head coach the last couple years when former coach Steve Jennings couldn’t be at the matches. Williams said he’s seen a lot of improvement from Myers, especially his ability to handle his emotions on the court.
“I saw him in the past year get a little frustrated when things didn’t go well,” Williams said. “I think he’s gotten a lot better at dealing with situations - he still has some room to work. That’s not a bad reflection on him it’s just that he gets very upset with himself when he knows that he should be able to perform a certain way and things just don’t go that way. That’s usually the reason why he gets upset. But I think he’s been able to, for the most part, overcome some of those things. And he’s gotten a whole lot better not only on that but his physical skills of tennis has improved from last season. I can tell just by the way he’s hitting the ball and getting the serves in and being consistent on the court, that he has put in some good offseason work to improve his tennis game.”
Williams said that one of Myers’ biggest strengths is his serve. Myers said that when he gets his first serve in that he feels good about his chances of setting the point up the way he wants to and winning the point.
Myers plays No. 2 doubles with Keith Robertson and said he likes playing doubles as well as singles.
“I enjoy playing doubles,” Myers said. “Usually in singles, it’s like you’re out there by yourself and you’re all alone. You can’t really talk to anybody. Then with doubles me and (Robertson) we talk a lot. We just keep our heads straight for the most part and we just have fun with it.”
Myers said that he loves playing tennis and hopes to keep playing it recreationally after high school.
The Warriors are 7-6 this season, including 5-4 in the Class 4 Northwestern District. They are in a tough district with Class 4 powerhouse Handley. The Warriors are in third place in the district behind Handley and Millbrook.
Myers said his main goal for the rest of the season is to just enjoy the rest of his senior year.
“For myself, I think I’ve been taking it way too serious,” Myers said. “I need to still be focused but I think I want to relax a little bit more - and that’s what I’m aiming to do at the end of the season. For the team, I just want to keep on winning and see where we land in districts. Then hopefully we can make it into regionals.”