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Courting success

Bachini thrives as a developing tennis star
By: Andrew Eggers, Press Tribune Correspondent
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While most kids her age are looking to get their driver’s license and a date to the Winter Ball, 16-year-old Breanna Bachini is looking beyond. Ranked No. 1 in Northern California for the United States Tennis Association’s 18-year-old girls’ division, the Roseville resident has hopes of a professional career in the sport. She has also verbally committed to attend Syracuse University in 2011-12. Although she has her driver’s permit, Bachini has lived a different life then the majority of teenagers, having never stepped foot inside a McDonald’s restaurant or even eaten a hamburger. Home-schooled since she was in the fifth grade, a pro tennis career has been Bachini’s main focus since the age of eight when she started training six to seven hours a day which coincided with a strict no sugar diet. “There are a lot of steps to becoming a really good tennis player,” Bachini said. “It’s tedious work and sometimes it gets monotonous, but it makes you better so I’m out there everyday.” “I’ve pretty much had a goal with her to become a pro tennis player the minute my wife brought her back from the hospital,” said Bachini’s father, Tedd. “At the age of eight, that’s when I told her that if she wanted to be a pro tennis player, she would have to start working harder than anybody else.” Being home-schooled has worked conveniently with Bachini’s training schedule while allowing her to juggle schoolwork and avoid “high school drama.” “I think that if I were to go to high school, I don’t think my focus would have been quite the same as it is right now,” Bachini said. “Since I am home-schooled and have a set schedule and I’m training. I have always been on the same path and haven’t wavered from that.” Bachini, who has never traveled alone or been without at least one of her parents for any stretch of time, is looking forward to moving her talents across the country to Syracuse University in New York. Luke Jensen, head coach of Syracuse’s women’s tennis team, won the prestigious French Open doubles title in 1993. Jenson is also a commentator for ESPN, something that interests Bachini, as she will major in communications with a focus in broadcasting. “I chose Syracuse mainly because of Luke Jensen because I wanted a coach who has been there and has talked the talk and walked the walk,” Bachini said. “He says he can get me to a Grand Slam and he says he has all the tools to teach me and it obviously shows because he’s done it before. That really drew my interest to the college” Rich Andrews, Bachini’s current coach for the past four years, has seen every aspect of her game develop, including her maturity. In conversations between the two, Andrews has educated Bachini about the great players who have come before her as well as how the game has evolved over the years. Andrews has seen first hand the enjoyment Breanna gets out of playing tennis on a daily basis. “She is extremely dedicated, hard-working, disciplined and focused. A lot of her focus, I feel, is a result of her enjoyment for tennis,” Andrews said. “She really likes to compete and come out on top. For Breanna, she understands the meaning of 100 percent in terms of physical and mental effort.” A decision to turn professional will not be made for several years as Bachini herself believes that it could be detrimental to a young tennis player’s career since most do not peak in talent or physical development until their twenties. But that has not stopped her from setting some lofty goals. “I would definitely love to win a Grand Slam and be No. 1 in the world,” Bachini said. “Shorter term goals by next year would be to play in some pro tournaments (via exemptions) as an amateur and start building up my (World Tennis Association) ranking so when I go into college it can already be established.” Bachini has expressed no regrets in the way her childhood has played out as she looks into the future to the day her dreams are fulfilled in a sport she loves dearly. “I’m sacrificing now, but in the end I will get my reward,” Bachini said. “I can either go to homecoming or all the (high school) dances or I can have a goal in life and become something and somebody.”