Troy’s Toro gets chance to shine in Tennis Classic

Published 9:43 pm Monday, October 8, 2012

Hannah Toro return the ball in a match in the Tennis Classic of Troy on October 8, 2012 in Troy, Ala. (Photo/Wes Johnson)

Though Hannah Toro fell in the second qualifying round of the Troy Tennis Classic, the Troy University sophomore felt like she accomplished a lot.

Toro hasn’t played a competitive match since 2009, after taking a break from the game to concentrate on her academics.

“For me, even winning a match I was happy,” she said after her 6-2, 6-0 loss to No. 7 seed in qualifying, Lauren Albanese. “I think I just forgot how frustrating it gets when nothing is going you way.”

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Toro grew up playing in tennis academies in United Kingdom home. She has been playing competitively since the age of 13, but battled a case of burn out and decided to take a hiatus from the game.

“I felt like I was pushed to play in events from the time I was 13. I was kind of dropped in the deep end,” she said. “I was very isolated as well. I think I just wanted to go to school and do normal things. Tennis took a back step. I lost interest.”

Toro said when the opportunity came to pick up a racket again and play for Troy, she jumped at the chance.

“I do love the sport. There is a different side to it now,” Toro said. “I’ve found that love again. There’s still a lot to go, but if I can get some more matches under my belt, things will get better slowly.”

Now 20, Toro was once ranked as high as 1,018 in the International Tennis Federation rankings in 2007.

In her first match of the Tennis Classic of Troy qualifying round, Toro, who will not be eligible to play for the Trojans until January, defeated Brittany Lashway, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 to advance and face Albanese.

It was a nice outcome to a fresh start for Toro, especially in an event held on her home campus.

“It shows me that I still have a chance and I’m not down at the bottom anymore,” she said. “Having this event in Troy, right around the corner, helped me a lot.”

While Toro admits there is still work to be done, she says the preparation and the experience from the Tennis Classic of Troy will help her down the road.

“Mentally, it’s a lot tougher playing a professional match than a college match. It’s a different atmosphere because when you’re on you own it’s a lot harder than when you have a team behind you.”

The Tennis Classic of Troy will continue through Oct. 14 at the Lunsford Tennis Complex on the campus of Troy University.