Nguyen brings passion, international experience to Coppell tennis


Disha Kohli

Coppell High School tennis players senior Eashana Arora and Sydney Nguyen cheer on in the stands during the match against Marcus High School on Sept. 18. The CHS team won 12-7, bringing home another win.

Karen Lu, Staff Writer

While few tennis players get the opportunity to attend the U.S. Open Tennis Championships, the chance of hitting with former world’s No. 1 player Andy Roddick is almost unheard of. For Coppell High School senior tennis player Sydney Nguyen, both of these once-in-a-lifetime experiences became her reality.


Coming in from Mary Immaculate Catholic School her freshman year, Nguyen had started out as a beginner on the Coppell tennis team in every sense of the word, while several of her teammates had played for more than a decade.


“I actually had never picked up a racket until freshman year of high school,” Nguyen said. “But all these [other] kids you see playing, they’ve been playing forever.”


However, Nguyen did not let that discourage her. Equipped with her hardwork and love of the game, Nguyen dedicated herself to tennis and as a result, quickly improved and is currently a member of the varsity team.


“She’s grown immensely as a tennis player,” senior teammate Eashana Arora said. “She’s been taking tennis a lot more seriously: taking lessons outside of school and trying to always better herself.”


Along with her strong work ethic, Nguyen has an unwavering sense of positivity that is noticeable to the entire tennis team.


“You can always depend on [Nguyen] to brighten your day with her infectious personality,” CHS tennis coach Rich Foster said. “We’ve got a lot more players on the team than those that are allowed to play, a lot of bench players. And that’s a tough situation to be in, and you’ve got to have people with her personality and her spirit to help everybody on the team feel wanted and feel important. ”


With the numerous hours spent together and constant encouragement all throughout the team, a genuine camaraderie has formed between members of the tennis team; a bond so special that it has become one of the most valuable things Nguyen has gained from tennis.


“I got really close to the people on the team, and tennis is what brings us all together,” Nguyen said. “[Tennis] has definitely given me a second family, and the friendships and relationships I’ve built because of it mean a lot to me.”


The combination of her own love of the game along with her special connections within the team has prompted Nguyen to further immerse herself in tennis by attending the 2018 U.S. Open in New York.


“She fell in love with the game to the point that she’s now putting herself in a position to be active in the tennis community,” Foster said. “She’s out there meeting professional tennis players, going to professional tournaments, and it just really shows her desire to be a part of tennis.”


When attending the U.S. Open, not only was Nguyen able to watch professionals such as Serena Williams play firsthand, but she had the opportunity to hit with Andy Roddick, a former No. 1 player in the world.


“It was really surreal,” Nguyen said. “Seeing all those professionals play, it honestly makes me want to be better. Playing with Andy Roddick just reminded me that even the big-shots still have fun on the court, and I think that’s one of the most important things to remember.”


Looking forward, Nguyen plans to continue playing either intramural or club tennis in college. But the skills she has gained from tennis go beyond just her playing abilities, and what she can apply in her future exceed just the sport itself.


“She can write her own future,” Foster said. “She’s got that great character that tennis builds, and she’s got that personality that draws people to her. She’ll be tremendous in whatever she chooses to do, and I hope it’s something where she’s involving herself in the lives of other people because she’s an impact-maker.”


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