July brings two things to our Atlanta tennis community. First, it brings the heat! The true dog days of summer are here, and bringing 3 or 4 shirts to work is just another day for our pros. July also brings the best tennis players in the world to town, as the BBT Atlanta Open takes place at Atlantic Station. It is an exciting week for all local tennis fans, but for me it a very special week. I, along with Patricia Jensen (the Jensen Brothers’ mom), coordinate the Ballboys/girls for our ATP tour stop. It is a long, hot week, but watching the youth of Atlanta patrolling the courts at the BBT Atlanta Open is a great thrill for us. Growing up in St. Louis, I was a ballboy on anything and everything that rolled through town, and being able to pass on my knowledge and experience is a great privilege. I have been on the court with Stan Smith, John Newcombe, Arthur Ashe, Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg, Billie Jean King, and Jimmy Connors, and being up close to the action only fueled my love for the sport of tennis!
Meet Caio Borges from Sharon Lester Tennis Center at Piedmont Park!
Caio grew up in Sao Paulo, Brazil, competing in national and international level junior tournaments. In 2006, he accepted a tennis scholarship to play for Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. Caio was an active member of the men’s tennis team for four years, playing line one doubles and two singles. He was captain of his team and received the N.A.I.A Champion of Character award during his senior year. Caio also received the All Team Scholarship award while at Lee. He received a BA in Communications from Lee University and an MA in Design and Media Management from Miami International University.
In 2016 the Pace Academy athletic programs made the jump to the 3A classification, up from 2A in previous years. What this meant for Pace Tennis was competing on the same level as perennial powerhouses Westminster and Lovett. I must admit that my original thought (shared by many other UTA coaches) was, “What is Pace thinking??” Westminster and Lovett have been winning state championships for years, and they are always among the best teams in Georgia at any level! Pace had always had some good players, but usually lacked the depth that the other top programs had.