Tennis | Chasing the Dream
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Hi, My name is Jacqueline Cako and I’m trying to achieve my dream of becoming the best tennis player in the world.
I have been competing on the professional tennis tour for two years now and I’ve had both highs and lows, but I want to make some changes for 2016. In doing so I plan to have the best year of my life, both on and off the court. Before I go into my plans, here’s a little about me and where I come from.
Me & Tennis
I grew up in a small city north of Seattle, called Brier. I started out as a gymnast with dreams of making it to the Olympics, but those dreams were squashed as I began to grow (I’m 5’10”)! When I was 8 my mom signed me up for tennis lessons because one of my friends from school was also taking lessons. I fell in love with tennis shortly after and started competing in tournaments when I was 11.
By the time I was 16 I was ranked #1 in the Pacific Northwest and #3 in the nation in the 18 & under division. My mom would take me to tournaments when I was younger, and when I was 16 I started traveling more on my own.
I began going to international junior events in the US and made it up to #64 in the world. I played in the junior U.S. Open twice, but unfortunately wasn’t able to play the other Grand Slams because my parents couldn’t afford to send me abroad.
So, I stayed in the states and played small professional tennis tournaments, winning my first when I was 17, and again at 18.
The next step
During that time I signed with Arizona State University because a good education is something I value dearly. However, I still had high hopes to make it professionally so I decided to play one year on tour before going to college.
I had a deal with my parents that if I made it to the top 200 that I could turn pro, otherwise I would go to college before pursuing my professional career. At the end of that year I was ranked #369 in the world – so I went to college.
I maximized the amount of credits I was taking at the Barrett Honors College in order to graduate in 3 years with a degree in Biology.
Where you come in
As soon as I graduated I turned pro and started playing a full schedule. I started out well mainly in doubles and played tournaments in the US since they were more cost effective.
I am able to get housing pretty much every week, and I have ways of getting cheap flights using Southwest – that has saved me a lot of money.
I have had to be very savvy in order to make ends meet as my parents haven’t been able to help since college.
After two years my ranking and game has stayed fairly consistent, now I’m trying to make some changes to move forward.
Currently, I am ranked #425 in the tennis singles rankings and # 215 in doubles, which is good, but I know I can do better.
I recently started traveling and training with a coach and it has really helped me stay sharp and motivated. I’m starting so see big improvements in my tennis and am very hopeful about the future.
My best results of the year came recently when I qualified for and won rounds in the last three tennis tournaments of the year. My ranking jumped 100 spots and I got my first top hundred win along the way.
I know that I can compete at the highest level, and traveling with a coach is an important part of reaching and maintaining that level.
My goal is to reach the top 100 in the world. Here I can compete in Wimbledon and all the Grand Slams and I would be able to earn my living from tennis. To play in the qualifying of Grand Slams I need to be ranked in the top 200 which I aim to do in the next 12 months.
I’m trying to raise the money in order to be able to cover expenses for myself and a coach for the 2016 season.
I know that with the proper approach and hopefully support from you I will continue to rise in the rankings and reach my goals.
Please help me to achieve my dreams.