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Uncle Bobby Reynolds Leads Sister, Nephews To Team Tennis

August 17, 2013 02:57 PM
By Ron Cioffi/USTA Southern
 
What if you had an uncle that had success in the highest level of tennis but still enjoyed playing team tennis best of all?
 
You'd probably following in Uncle Bobby's footsteps and join a team.
 
The famous uncle is Bobby Reynolds, who as a career-high world ranking of 63 playing solo on the ATP World Tour. But, as a member of the World Team Tennis Washington Kastles, Reynolds won the 2012 MVP. This year he led the Kastles to snare its third straight title and set an American major pro team record with 34 consecutive victories.
 
According to his sister, Debbie Kennedy, Bobby enjoys the team environment more that playing as an individual. A former Georgia Tech and University of Wisconsin varsity player, Debbie has used Bobby’s inspiration to begin coaching and having her sons play USTA Jr. Team Tennis. Her husband, Todd Kennedy, also played college tennis at Emory.
 
Talking about Thomas and Jake, Debbie said, "My sons play the usual tournaments. But, they get a different dynamic by playing on their teams." The boys play for different 10 and under Advanced teams from Georgia. Thomas' team qualified by winning the state tournament and Jake’s team, labeled the Phillips team, got the wild card as the finalist.
 
The opponents Jake and Thomas go head-to-head with in elimination tournaments are now their friends and teammates on the Jr. Team Tennis teams out of Bitzy Grant Park in Atlanta. "They’re not working against each other. Instead they are cheering each other on," she added. "There’s an atmosphere of support. They cheer for each other. The kids really come alive in that situation.
 
"Bobby is such an important role model for these boys. He’s come out and hit with team and watched them play. An event like this (tournament) this is what it’s like in college and also a stepping stone to pro teams like World Team Tennis. He still says his favorite times in tennis were when he was on teams." Bobby played three years at Vanderbilt from 2000-03.
 
10 and Under Tennis has really impressed the pro from Marietta, Ga., from the length of the rallies to the variety of shots and strokes are used.
 
"He’s amazed by how the boys have to learn to play all-court tennis," Kennedy said of her brother. "The construction of their shots. Their ability to slice, use drop shots, serve and volley and to use every shot has made him a believer in the program.
 
"And they learn how to grind. It’s not like they play a couple of shots and the point is over. The kids have to learn to grind through the points. It might take 30 to 40 shots to win a point."
 
Jake, the younger of the two brothers, was asked what about his uncle he liked that he could also use on the tennis court. "The chest bump," he said.
 

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