13 year old African American Steffi Graf, This girl swings as well as slices. Future is Bright
Interview and strokes up close http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DHvcC5TVj4
Strokes Close Up http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyCvWE8Edpw
At 12 againts 75mph ball machine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzKnaC0hBCA
Deja began her tennis dream at age 3. Deja's father noticed that she was an exceptional athlete and that she had a special ball striking skill. He began to nurture Deja's talent. By age 4 Deja was practicing, watching film of the greats, and had began to carefully build her body to perform at an elite professional level. Although Deja was working to become a professional, her young parents were unable to afford standard coaching, or the expenses of playing a full junior schedule. As a result Deja played approximately 5 tournaments per year, a relatively low number of events. By age 10 Deja was strong enough to compete with older players, so the decision was tentatively made that Deja would play in the older age groups. Before moving to Florida from Northern California Deja had became a top 20 player in the 10s division, this was despite that fact that Deja played only a few tournaments. That year Deja also played in a few14s/16s events winning about half of her matches and placing in several. In Nov 2006 Deja's family moved to Florida so that Deja could play tennis year round, the Northern California winters were not ideal for tennis. On many occasions Deja and her father practiced in the rain or hit through the back of an SUV for target practice when the courts were too wet or if it was too cold for full practices. When Deja arrived in Florida she had just turned ten, and she had won 3 straight 10 year old tournaments(2 in California, and 1 in Georgia) Deja's father had heard a lot about Florida tennis and he wanted to see how Deja’s game compared to the girls her age in Florida. Deja was entered into a tournament located between two of Florida’s top academies Saddlebrook, and the Boliterri Academy. The family realized early on that Florida Tennis was booming. If Deja was to be a top ranked player in Florida she would have to play nearly 25 tournaments per year as all the other top ranked kids were doing. This simply wasn’t possible. Deja's father had to make a choice. Would Deja play a few 10 year old events(and be lower ranked regardless of outcome) and not learn much, or would she play a few 18 year old events and learn more. Deja was plenty strong enough, so the family decided that if Deja was to win her ten year old event against the academy kids in Florida, that she would then focus on the 18 year old age group and receive a higher quality learning. Deja in fact won the tournament(making it 4 in a row) without loosing a set. From that point on she played in predominantly 18 year old events with two or three 14 year old events sprinkled in along(3 years) the way. Deja has won half of her 18 year old matches, but at 13 she has recently made a breakthrough in the division winning her last two small 18 year old events. These were events that she would not have won the previous year. Deja has ran with the confidence, and has taken her game to even greater heights. She is now in heavy preparations for a National 18s and ITF schedule. Deja has blossomed into beautiful young lady, and awesome athlete. As a result of her fathers unconventional methods she is also a completely versatile, and unpredictable tennis player. At 13 Deja does it all from serve & volley, to chip & charge, slices, loops, and of course a Deja trade- mark power tennis. Deja's game does not resemble many up &coming players that you will see today, but let me assure you that she has every bit the consistency, talent, and athleticism. Since Justine Henin's retirement many feel that women’s tennis is lacking variety. I invite you to take a look at the videos of Deja a young lady who has dedicated her life to the game of tennis, and who is doing everything in her power to reach her goal of adding flare and variety into professional women’s tennis. Does the new school athlete with the old school game have what it takes to make it to the big time?