Press release for Tameka for Trinidad and Tobago:
Tameka Samantha Peterson
Q & A for Trinidad and Tobago
Getting to know Tameka Peterson
Q: What caused you to start playing tennis?
A: My dad is an international tennis coach and when I was 3 years I would go with him to the courts when he worked with his players. From there I fell in love with tennis and my dad has coached me ever since.
Q: Did you ever play the local tournaments? If so give a brief account of your successes.
A: I have not played any local tournaments in Trinidad previously. The majority of my tournaments have been played in Florida and California. I won my first major junior event in Florida at age 9 years ( under 10)
In 2011 I competed in the prestigious “Little Mo” under 11’s event in Florida and successfully made it to Sectionals, Regionals all the way to the Nationals in Austin, Texas.
Later in the year I was selected to compete at the International ‘Little Mo” under 12’s held at the world renowned IMG/Bollettieri Tennis Academy.
In 2012 came one of my great successes to date when I was hand selected by IMG Academies as one of the top 32 11 year olds in the world to compete at the first ever Prestigious Discovery Open.
In the under 9’s, 10’s, 11’s & 12’s I have always been on par with the worlds best.
From there I competed extensively until the age of 15 years old. In 2013 I played a mixture of 12’s and 14’s and my record was 25-5 and then in 2014 I qualified and won the Prestigious Top 8 Invitational Girls 14’s title at Stanford University, California.
Leading up to the Stanford Top 8 event I made it to 3 other finals back-to-back and making another final after the Stanford event. My record for that year was 28-6.
At the age of 15 years I made the decision that I wanted to focus less on junior competition, ranking and more on going through the transitions needed to compete on the professional circuit.
Q: You have a very rare and unique mix with your parents as well as being born in Singapore hence are able to represent multiple countries. Have you decided which county you will represent?
A: Yes it’s rare having an Asian mother and Caribbean/South American father and being born in Singapore. I am just happy to be competing in this part of the world and have not given any final thought as to which country exactly I will represent in the future.
However, when that time comes I will discuss with my mother and father and decide as to what will be in my best interest.
Q: How were you able to balance your academics with your tennis?
A: I’m homeschooled, so that allows me to have the necessary time needed to focus on training both on and off the court. This avenue have made me more disciplined and very time conscious.
Q: Did you ever want to quit tennis? If so, then why and what was it that kept you in tennis? If not, what kept you motivated to continue with tennis?
A: Yes there have been a couple of times I wanted to quit tennis which was mainly due to some injuries that made me second guess myself. However, having my Mother’s unconditional support and love as well as my dad’s extensive experience with managing players added that extra motivation, trust and belief during times of adversity.
Having worked with some of the top physiotherapist in the United States my body is now the healthiest it has ever been.
Q: What is the most important life lesson tennis has taught you?
A: Definitely sacrifice. There were more downs than ups and I have been in many tough situations and tennis has really toughened me up both physically mentally and emotionally.
All my experiences to date have made me focused and trust the process more and less on the outcome.