Alycia Parks instantly fell in love with tennis as a seven year old

Alycia Parks

Alycia Parks says that she and her younger sister got into tennis quite accidentally but immediately loved the sport.

Parks related how she took up the sport in a recent interview with WTA Insider.

The 22-year-old says that her childish indecision led to her mother making a choice that woud change her life.

“In elementary school, I made all A’s and every time we made all A’s, my parents took us to the toy store. It was taking me an hour to pick something. My mom was like, Hurry up or I’m gonna pick something for you.

“She just happened to look down and it was two tennis rackets and three tennis balls. She knew me and my sister liked to play outdoors and we had a tennis court in our neighborhood. She took us to the tennis court and she was reading her book and she just heard the ball going back and forth, me and my sister just kept rallying. She called my dad and she was like, I think they’re pretty good at tennis.”

Parks said that from that moment she knew she was destined to be a tennis player.

She added: “I wanted to become a professional tennis player at seven years old. When I first hit the ball, that’s when I knew, okay, I want to go pro in this.”

Parks says that the junior ranks didn’t do as much for the development of her game as constantly playing against her sister has.

“We didn’t do the junior route because at the time, I was growing throughout juniors. I would always have knee problems and my dad wanted to prevent injuries. Just train and get ready for the pros. So that’s what we did and here I am now.

“My sister also played, so we pushed each other. We didn’t go based off the competition that was out there because we were always competing with each other. When you have a sister that you always want to beat and vice versa, I think that puts you in a different element.

“So when I got on tour and the pros, [the level] wasn’t really a surprise.”

Her former Basketball star father has been her coach while Parks has also taken on board sage advice from her mother.

“I made a comment one day to my mom: ‘When is it going to get easy?’ She said, ‘Oh, it’s never going to get easy. It’s never going to get easier. If you want something, you have to work for it,’ she said.

“So that told me, OK, handouts aren’t going to be for you. You have to work for what you want.”

Parks won her maiden WTA Tour title in Lyon on Sunday 5 February to reach a new career-high ranking.

READ MORE: Alycia Parks pulls off biggest career win in stunning Lyon final upset