October 17, 2008

Alexander a Natural on the Court

By John Philip Wyllie

In all of the league tennis matches she has played so far this year Constance Alexander has lost just one set. That is why this Bonita Vista High senior is an early favorite to win the Mesa League singles crown. To be that dominant one would assume that Alexander has been playing competitively for many years, but that in fact, is not the case.

“At the age of five I saw Wimbledon on TV and I asked my mom what it was. She told me it was tennis and I told her that is what I wanted to play. She didn’t really take me seriously for a long time, but three and a half years ago I began playing.”

Alexander turned out to be a natural progressing rapidly in the sport. Tennis turned out to be more than just fun for her. It was also beneficial. When she first started playing she had trouble controlling her weight.

“At one point I think I weighed 181 lbs.” Alexander recalled. Determined to slim down, she embarked on a rigorous program that included cardio workouts, three hours a day in the gym and five hours on the tennis court. Looking at her today, one would never guess that she ever had a weight problem.

Competitive tennis players often come from families that play. Most of the CIF winners over the last few years were given rackets and lessons shortly after they learned to walk. While Alexander comes from an athletic family, soccer was the sport of choice not tennis.

“My dad played soccer in Mexico for the University of Guadalajara and my mom plays racketball,” Alexander said. While neither parent grew up playing tennis, both of them are very supportive when it comes to her career. Her coach, Heidi Marks is very supportive as well.

“Constance is one of our captains and all of our girls look up to her. She is a powerhouse on the court and she is certainly one of the best if not the best player in the league. She is fun to watch and we are lucky to have her. Her ground strokes are unbelievable and her serve and movement on the court are great,” Marks said.

Alexander frustrates her opponents with her consistency and steadiness and her strong baseline game. She has an uncanny ability to keep the ball in play wearing down her opponent until that opponent makes an error.

With Alexander leading the way, the Bonita Vista Barons have a good shot at winning the league title. She is already thinking beyond the current season.

“I am looking forward to getting a full scholarship to play tennis in college. I am already set up on a website called tennisrecruiting.com and I have had a number of schools express interest.”

The fact that she is as strong academically as she is on the court will no doubt weigh in her favor. She is willing to relocate, so she is not sure which college will gain her services. Once she arrives there, she plans to pursue a degree in either Psychology or Medicine. Having become immersed in a sport that first caught her attention as a five year old, Alexander plans to extend her tennis playing career far into the future.

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