CHHS standout Jackson takes USTA Tennis Classic title

Published 11:07 pm Wednesday, July 4, 2012

At age 15, Patrick Jackson of Troy won the 18-year-old division of the USTA Boys Tennis Classic in Auburn June 23 and 24.

Patrick said he was not intimidated by his competition. Looking across the net, he didn’t see an older opponent, just an opponent.

“I just wanted to play,” he said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

When Patrick won the first set 6-0 before falling in the second set 4-6.

“After the first set, he (opponent) started making adjustments so I had to counter,” Patrick said.

And counter he did. Patrick won the third set and the match 6-2. From there, he never had to look back and took home the trophy and the title.

“I don’t play in a lot of tournaments like that and there’s a little more pressure in a big tournament,” Patrick said. “You have to be ready to play. And, tennis is not just physical. It’s mental. You don’t just go out there and hit the ball. You have to go with your strategy.”

Tennis is both an individual sport and a team sport.

That’s part of the reason that Patrick chose tennis over the strictly team sports. It’s not that he doesn’t like team sports or that he’s not a team player, because he does and he is. It’s just that Patrick likes a sport where, at times, it’s all up to him. He likes the challenge and he likes the game.

Patrick started playing tennis when he was about eight years old. His dad, Kevin Jackson, showed him the mechanics and helped him develop the techniques. He taught him the game. But the dedication to the game and the desire to improve with every stroke of the racquet and every “game, set, match” comes from within.

“I love tennis. I like to practice and I like to play and I like to compete,” Patrick said.

He gives his dad credit for his early interest in the game.

“My dad’s a good tennis player,” Patrick said, but didn’t give a clear answer as to whether he or his dad is the better player. “Ummmmm.”

Patrick will be a sophomore at Charles Henderson High School in the fall. He’s a member of the CHHS tennis team and he is excited about competing again on the team that won the area title in 2011-2012.

His future goal is to play tennis at a Division I university.

“That’s what I would like to do but right now, I just enjoy playing with my schoolmates and making new friends around the state,” he said.

Patrick is the son of Kevin and Shelia Jackson of Troy.