When I was a little girl I had two ambitions: To win the Wimbledon Tennis Championships a mere five times, and open my own Tennis Academy.
Though I did achieve a World Ranking; earned a full College scholarship;and travelled the world playing tennis, unfortunately I fell some way short of my first goal, but next week my second ambition will be realised as the FX Tennis Academy swings to life out of Jones Bridge Swim and Racquet Club.
This has been over eleven years in the making, as immediately after graduating from the University of Tennessee (Georgia fans - please don't hold it against me!) I got a job at CNN in the International Sports department.
My love for CNN came from a trip to Uzbekistan when I was 16-years old. Couped up in a very expensive and dingy hotel room on a rainy day, I started watching the only English-speaking channel on television. It's funny, but I clearly remember thinking to myself that I wanted to get a job there after University. Fast forward to 2000 and following a successful summer internship I was hired as a Production Assistant; then became an Associate Producer and then shortly after, was put On-Air.
Given my previous life, I was given most of the tennis duties and had the good fortune to interview all the major players. Amongst the highlights was playing in a charity soccer match with the likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray, and playing tennis with Andy Roddick shortly after he won the US Open - but by far the standout was a trip to Las Vegas to meet Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf and tour their outstanding Academic Academy.
It was an exciting career but as you can probably imagine, brutal on family life and sleep! I miss it, but not the 3am wakeups or the comute through gridlocked traffic downtown. These days, the hours are a lot more friendly, and as my own boss, success or failure is completely in my own hands.
However, the FX Tennis Academy couldn't have come about without a tremendous amount of help from family and friends! My husband Simon has set up what he calls "the FX Control Centre" on our kitchen table, and tennis pupils Cindy, Rebecca, Nina, Sandrine and Jen have given me graphic design, marketing and accounting help and advice. Sarah in my native England has developed my website which has all the info a budding tennis player should need.
The aim is to provide quality coaching for those ages 4-18 because tennis is a fantastic, life-long sport which provides opportunities at every corner. I think my life-story so far is a good illustration of that!