View Full Version : Swinging for No. 1

Aug 19th, 2003, 11:37 PM
Sorry if this was posted already but an interesting read: she seems to be a bit naive but I hope she fares well as a pro:
By Pete Borello / Town Crier Staff Writer

The transformation is almost Hulk-like. The mild-mannered 17-year-old with the little-girl voice turns into an emotionally charged, win-at-any-cost tennis player once that fuzzy green ball goes into play.

"I'm like a different person," said Megan Falcon, a top-ranked junior player and former Mountain View resident. "I don't want to lose -- I want to win every single point and every single game. I am a very competitive person."

Count her manager among those who agree with Falcon's self-assessment.

"Megan is a sweet, humble and beautiful person off the court, but she can be like the old (John) McEnroe on the court," said Sean Abdollahi, referring to one of the most animated, competitive and successful players to ever play on the men's tour. "But as a woman, she's more in control. She's fun to watch."

Falcon isn't content with being No. 2 -- at anything. Her competitive drive may have started at age 6 when she was innocently introduced to tennis by flipping on a televised match featuring the woman ranked No. 1 at the time.

"I was watching Steffi Graff at the French Open," she recalled, "and I told my grandfather that I wanted to be the best player in the world."

The goal remains the same 11 years after that bold statement, which prompted grandpa to buy Falcon a racket and sign her up for tennis lessons.

With a current WTA pro ranking of 870, Falcon would appear to have a long way to go to realize her dream. Player and manager believe otherwise.

Abdollahi, who coached Falcon for two years at his Mountain View tennis academy, said, "Megan is doing very well" -- especially for a player who has yet to turn pro. Falcon has competed in three pro tournaments this summer as an amateur, climbing from 1,140 to 870 in just three weeks.

"Her mobility is as good as anyone on the tour -- including the Williams sisters," said Mountain View High graduate Abdollahi, daring to compare his player to pro stars Serena and Venus Williams, "and her power on the forehand side is as good as anyone in the world."

While Falcon didn't speak of herself in such glowing terms, she certainly does not lack confidence.

"I think I can play pro tennis; the competition is not that much different than the junior level," the Alameda native said. "I think I can do really well. I just need to keep working hard and stay focused. I'm ready to give it a shot and see how it goes."

Exactly when Falcon plans to take this shot has yet to be determined. Falcon may announce her intentions to turn pro next month, Abdollahi hinted, or she just might go to college for a year or so,

Falcon said she has a good relationship with Stanford University, which has one of the best tennis programs in the nation and would surely approve of her SAT score (1,380).

"It's a no-lose situation," Falcon said of making a decision between college and the pros. "I win either way."

Falcon is used to winning -- she's done plenty of it playing tennis on the junior level. Falcon finished last year ranked No. 1 in the nation in the under-16 girls division and No. 4 in the under-18 bracket.

Aug 20th, 2003, 02:44 AM
870 already? Wow, she will probably be in the top 600 by the end of the year.

Cybelle Darkholme
Aug 20th, 2003, 03:55 AM
the pro circuit is not that much different from the junior level? oooookay.

Aug 21st, 2003, 12:22 AM
and the criticism begins...

auntie janie
Aug 21st, 2003, 03:12 PM
Go to college, Megan! Don't rush to turn pro and end up losing your enthusiasm after a couple of difficult years. Even one year of coaching at Stanford would be terrific for you!

Best of luck to her. I hope she has a good support system if she does turn pro right away.

Aug 21st, 2003, 03:18 PM
ok, confidence is good, but i really cant stand over-competitive people.

Aug 21st, 2003, 03:28 PM
and she's already in one of those boring nike outfits!!