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Natalie Pratt, Life Feature Athlete of the Week

Feature

Blaine girls tennis senior Natalie Pratt

Start in tennis

“I started playing tennis (officially) in my sophomore year of high school when I was 15. Aside from that, I had played a bit with my family over the years.”

Enjoy most about sport

“What I enjoy the most about tennis is probably the satisfaction of improvement. You really get to see how far you’ve come since you started and it’s an overwhelmingly good feeling to think of how hard I’ve worked and how it’s paid off.”

Singles or doubles

“I enjoy both singles and doubles, but over the years, whether it be because I’ve played more doubles or because it’s naturally my preference, I love doubles the most. I love the fast, aggressive points and the feeling of having a teammate out there with me to be supportive and have fun together.”

Most challenging

“Besides of course physical endurance, I think that a lot of players can agree that the hardest part about the sport isn’t always the sport itself, but trying not to think too much. It can be so easy to get in your head and overthink things that it can make even the greatest players play badly. Some of the best times when I’ve played a hard opponent, been down, and come back and won (or at least almost won), I had to tell my mind to stop thinking and just play the way I know that I’m capable of.”

Best part of team

“As far as the best part about the team, it’s really hard to pick just one thing. Our team is made up of great tennis players, but even more than that — great people. These girls are some of the nicest, smartest and friendliest people I’ve ever known, and I’m so grateful to have met them all. They’re all so supportive and sweet, and I think that’s one of the main things that has made this season so amazing.”

Favorite part of season

“My favorite part of this season was toward the beginning when we had a whole bunch of matches, one after the other, and our team was doing really well. I loved the days when we had multiple matches a day and would be with each other talking and having fun, while also playing the sport we all love.”

Top high school tennis memories

“I think that being at practice, especially playing the team’s collective favorite drill (Sammon Drill), and making jokes with each other and the coaches over the years have been so much fun and something that I will always keep with me. In addition to that, the trip we took up to Hibbing was one of my favorite memories. We were supposed to have three matches that day and drove two hours to get there, but unfortunately, after the first match, it was rained out. We did win the match though. We had a great time on the drive up and ended up going to Duluth on the way home; we visited Canal Park and then ate lunch at Culver’s, all of us talking and laughing and having a great time.”

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