Kentwood’s Manthou likes tennis challenges

Kentwood's senior tennis player Tess Manthou's father inspired her to take up tennis when she was a child.

Kentwood's Tess Manthou took second at state last year.

Kentwood's Tess Manthou took second at state last year.

Kentwood’s senior tennis player Tess Manthou’s father inspired her to take up tennis when she was a child.

“My dad started me and my brother in tennis lessons when we were young to stay active and I started to really love it,” Manthou said. “I took lessons for a few years and then started playing competitive tournaments when I was about nine.”

Manthou is now entering her last year of high school tennis. Last year, she finished second at state in doubles and the year before Manthou received third place in doubles.

“Individually, I don’t know about playing singles or doubles yet but I’m focusing on my own game and getting better at every practice,” Manthou said. “I’m looking to have fun and enjoy my last year.”

Manthou has been playing tennis competitively, participating in USTA tournaments until she was 15. She stopped playing tennis year round so she could play club volleyball.

Manthou played club volleyball for six years and four years on Kentwood’s team.

“Tennis has kept me very active and taught me many skills beyond the court like how to be competitive, how to have determination, and how to fight for what I want,” she said. “I also saw many skills from tennis transfer into volleyball like how to stay composed and how to perform under pressure. Aside from playing tennis, I have met many lifelong friends from around the Pacific Northwest that I otherwise wouldn’t have encountered from tournaments and I also met many wonderful girls from the high school seasons as well.”

Manthou says she has overcome many challenges in tennis.

“Tennis is such a complete game, it’s challenging to put all the parts together sometimes as far as the physical and mental components,” she said. “I’m glad I stuck with it because playing tennis in high school has been amazing and some of my fondest memories have been from the various league, district and state tournaments.”

Kentwood’s tennis team lost to Tahoma in the first league match of the season, but they were able to bounce back and defeat Kentridge the next week.

“I think this showed a lot of determination from us,” Manthou said.”My goal for the season as a team would be to play our best at every match and learn to keep mentally focused because of the crazy schedule sometimes, which is due to all the rain cancellations.”

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