She may be small but IMG Academy Bollettieri tennis program student, Whitney Osuigwe, has big dreams along with a big forehand! At just nine years old and only entering the fourth grade at the IMG Academy, Whitney has the dream and desire to become the next Serena Williams.
Whitney has been playing tennis since she was four years old and has been training full time at the academy for two years. You can find her out in the hot summer sun competing against opponents that range from 14-16 years old. As a typical nine year old, Whitney comments on her game by saying that her favorite part is hitting the ball hard. Her favorite stroke is the backhand because she feels like she can get the most power in her shot. At the same time, she also mentioned that in pressure situations while in a match she likes to remain calm and hit towards the center of the court. Her tennis strategy and skills can be credited towards her dad and coach, Desmond Osuigwe, who is also an IMG Academy Bollettieri tennis program coach.
This past school year Whitney competed in the Bollettieri Grand Prix Series. The Grand Prix Series is a series of tournaments held on IMG Academy's campus for students who are participating in the program. Based off of their results in the tournaments, each student is given a ranking in their age division ranging from Boys and Girls 10s-18s. At the end of the year the top eight players from each division compete in the IMG Academy Bollettieri tennis program Masters. Whitney played a division up in the Girls 12's and won the IMG Academy Bollettieri tennis program Masters Championship.
Whitney plans to spend the summer training at IMG so she can do well in her summer tournaments. Her next tournament is the Bollettieri-IMG Academy Junior Championship this weekend. Who would have thought that such a young girl could have this much dedication and drive to become the best!