When your mom was a year-ending No. 1 singles tennis participant on the earth for 4 years and your uncle was ranked No. 1 on the earth in doubles, these are mighty enormous sneakers to fill.
Jagger Leach, son of Hall of Famer Lindsay Davenport with three Grand Slams on her resume, and nephew of Rick Leach, a part of 5 Grand Slam champions doubles groups, just lately went by way of a 7-inch progress spurt, so at 6-2, the lanky 14 yr outdated will be the teen to do it.
Until Friday, the Seventeenth-seeded Leach had lived as much as his pedigree, nevertheless he was unable to resolve ninth-seeded Roben Gavani, a smooth-stroking, left-hander from Bulgaria, in a heart-breaking 4-6, 6-2 (16-14) loss on the arduous courts at Crandon Park Tennis Center within the Junior Orange Bowl Championships 14 and unders.
“I’m still trying to develop my game into a more aggressive baseliner who comes forward to finish points,’’ said Leach, who lost in the Round of 16 at the recent Eddie Herr championships to eventual champion Max Exsted, the top seed here from Miramar, who cruised into the final 16 on Friday. “I’ve got a lot of work to do in the next couple of years.”
Davenport and husband Jon Leach, an All-American at USC who had a quick professional doubles profession (ranked 229 in 1996), definitely know the pitfalls their son will face, however their loving steering and expertise will little question escort him onto the best path.
“We both had really good careers,’’ said Davenport of her and Jon’s huge collection of gold balls for winning several USTA National tournaments. “It’s been a lot for him, but he loves it, plays a lot, he’s a great kid. He tries super hard, a good student. Whatever he wants to do we will try to support. We’ll see where it takes him.”
This week, Davenport was simply one other tennis mother or father clapping for each gamers. She stated that she was much more nervous serving on match level than watching Jagger play.
“He acts well, tries hard,’’ she said. “I get a little more stressed watching my daughter’s sports. You always get a little nervous but it’s OK.”
Another tennis Hall Famer and former No. 1, Lleyton Hewitt, was rooting on their 13-year-old son Cruz, who misplaced his second-round match on Thursday, however stays within the again draw.
The hard-serving Leach, who was ranked No. 1 in California in his age group earlier than the pandemic hit, is coming off a troublesome patch. He needed to bear two left leg surgical procedures to restore a femur. The strict lockdown mandates in California led the household, together with three youthful daughters, to maneuver from Laguna Beach to Sarasota the place the kids are pursuing their athletic pursuits on the IMG Academy.
The progress spurt additionally has affected his mobility as he adjusts to his new measurement. He’s in all probability not finished but, as his mom is 6-2, father is 6-4 and grandfather 6-8.
“I love tennis and feel like I’m lucky to have a passion for it because it’s easier to get up in the morning and helps keep me motivated,’’ Jagger said. “Mom gives me a lot of great advice on and off the court, and helps me with the struggles, too, because she’s been there before.
“Dad helps me more on the court … because he played all those years and could tell me what he did wrong.”
Many take into account Davenport the best pure ball-striker within the sport. Jon Leach says his son has inherited that ability, however not from him.
“I’m diluting Lindsay’s gene pool,’’ joked Jon Leach. “He’s really tall now so he’s got to get thick, get strong, so you can play with your legs underneath you. He has that ability, the eye-hand coordination.’’
Jagger is not thinking college and plans to play pros.
“My goal is to improve my game and get physically to a point at 18 or 19 that I can start playing at a higher level,’’ he said. “I can only control the input I put in.”
The level-headed teenager has no intention of shouldering the surface expectations of his championship lineage.
“I try not to put too much pressure on myself and focus on the long run, improving my game and seeing where it takes me,’’ Jagger said. “I’m working as hard as I can on and off the court, not as much to follow in their footsteps I guess, but to try to create my own path.”
The Seventeenth seed Robert McAdoo IV, grandson of NBA nice Bob McAdoo, fell 6-3, 6-3 to fifth-seeded Jordan Lee of Orlando within the third spherical of the Boys’ 14s at Salvadore Park.