By John Philip Wyllie
Eastlake High School’s girl’s tennis team captured the Mesa League title and a coveted CIF tournament berth this season by virtue of a talented lineup from top to bottom. Among the most productive players was Mexican-born sophomore Marcela Ramos-Jimenez.
“I used to live in Ensenada and I started playing when I was very young. I think I was about five. I played for a few years and then gave it up, but I came back to it when I was about 13,” Ramos-Jimenez said.
Since that time, she has been living in the U.S. and really concentrating on improving her game. She finds the competition that she thrives upon is much stronger on this side of the border.
“The tennis up here is really tough. There is more competition up here and the girls are really good. In Baja California the competition for the boys is a lot better than the competition for the girls.”
“I would like to one day play in college and hopefully go on to playing professionally. I have been training hard and I have developed a strong forehand, but I need to improve my volleys and my serve. I train all year long and play in tournaments most weekends.”
Despite being only a sophomore Ramos-Jimenez won seven of her recent matches while losing only twice.
While she has been exposed to other sports, tennis is by far her favorite. That is not surprising considering the fact that her older sister and parents all play.
“Tennis is all about concentration and being physically fit,” she says. “It (requires) good conditioning and (the ability to) focus with your mind. It is also a very psychological game and one that requires intensity and precision with every shot.”
Ramos-Jimenez admits that she is still learning. Her transition into a new country and culture have not always been easy, but she has still managed to do very well in school. Her G.P.A. rests just a little below a 4.0 because she works as hard in the classroom as she does on the court. She feels in the long run that her move to the U.S. will benefit her in many ways, but especially with her tennis game. One thing is certain Eastlake’s rising court star will be a player to watch throughout her remaining two years.