When we think of black women in tennis we usually think of Serena and Venus Williams. However, there is a new young and amazing face in the world of tennis that is causing quite a stir, Chicago’s own Taylor Townsend.
Taylor Townsend is just 18 years old and has been holding court in tennis for years now. She hails from the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. She has been moving up the ranks in junior tennis for quite some time. She is the first American to hold the No. 1 junior girls ranking in the world since 1982. She has quite a few titles under her belt.
Unfortunately, a lot of the news surrounding Taylor is about her physical build. The usual look of the tennis player is slim. Taylor on the other hand is not the usual look. She is by no means overweight, but she is above the usual weight of the players around her. Because of this her physical fitness has been brought into question. That question caused the United States Tennis Association to bar her from competing in the U.S. Open in 2012, sighting that for the good of her career she should wait until she is more fit to play. However, from her play, there is no evidence that she is anything less than fit. She has gone for long matches and has not ever looked exhausted or overtaxed.
She is reshaping the view of what fitness is and shows that just because you are not stick thin, does not mean you are not a great athlete. She was recently in the news for shocking the tennis world by making it through the 1st two rounds of the French Open, past France’s top female contender. Although, she lost in the next round in straight sets, she looks amazing going into the US Open.
She will definitely be one to watch in the future. She is still so young and plays so well that it is almost scary to think of the kind of player she will eventually develop into.
I really hope that she does not succumb to the pressure to kill herself losing weight. You are beautiful and amazing just as you are, Taylor.