You did a nice selection of screenshots..!
Samia is a passionate photographer and has always a good camera to lend to her coach
So back to Samia and her tennis. Her parents didn’t encourage her at first. Her mother’s priority was school, and her father wasn’t willing to pay for two sport activities. Samia managed to have her own way while fulfilling all her mother’s strict demands regarding school, and satisfying her father with encouraging results in sports - but those remained modest since both parents never accepted that their daughter could train and compete at a higher level than her local club would allow her. It’s only during the summer holidays, when Samia went to a tennis summer camp, that she showed the talent she had in her. She was as resilient and determined as her mother, as tough and disciplined as her father, and on top of that she had the right feeling for the tactics and the touch. Combine those qualities with a solid athletic background, and you have all the ingredients that make the champs.
All right, the ingredients aren’t enough when you don’t have the utensils. And Samia missed them badly at her local club. She was already 15 when a trainer at the summer camp let his anger burst out in front of such waste of talent. He spoke to Samia’s sceptical parents and managed at last to convince them to let Samia pass some tests at the national training center.
To her parents’ relief, but to her own agony, Samia failed. Not because she was playing badly: but she was too old, too short, she had no experience on the Junior Tour, and her national ranking was ridiculous. The only positive thing she gained at the test was a recommendation for a renowned club where she could train properly and measure herself to similar players.
At 15 and half, Samia entered a new tennis club and a new school. She had to give up athletics, which made her very sad, but she soon realised her schedule was heavy enough. She quickly improved her game, beat some highly ranked Juniors - and started to elaborate a plan as carefully as a Vietcong or FLN general. I won’t reveal any details on how she exactly managed to apply for the Dortmund ITF (10’000 $) tournament* without her parents’ knowing - the fact is that she applied, got a positive answer and spent her two weeks of holidays playing there - and won all her single and doubles matches.
You can see here (http://sites.google.com/site/samiasunghi/resultats
) all the tournaments she committed to. You’ll notice that they were very few, for Samia played only during the school holidays. With some exception for the big ones taking place in France: Strasbourg, Roland Garros and Paris Coubertin.
You’ll also notice that she was incredibly successful on the ITF circuit. Even today, it’s something Samia can’t really explain. Some good luck at the drawings, she would say. Of course, tennis players were not as athletic as they are today, especially the lower ranked, and Samia, with her stamina and speed, had a clear lead over them. But also, the fact that she was playing with a different pressure than the others may have played a role. Tennis was not her main activity, just a (tough) holiday hobby, hence results didn’t matter that much; but those moments on court were so rare for her, so precious, that she would give all her heart to make them unforgettable. And I know that the fear of losing that so particular feeling made her hesitate to take up a professional career. Tennis was something exceptional for her - and should never become a routine.
*aka "Germany F1" by the Tennis Elbow players