Tennis Standout Vandeweghe Blazes Own Way

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Tuesday Oct. 21, 2008
Augusta, Ga--There are plenty of great players at this week USTA Challenger in Augusta. There's one player whose athletic prowess just seems to run in the family.

Coco Vandeweghe is not your normal 16 year old. For one, she's a pro tennis player, playing in tournaments all around the world, including right here in Augusta

"It's a great place to be back in the United States to play in my last tournament before I go home instead of being in a foreign country." said Coco Vandeweghe

But what also makes this 16 year old special is her famous family and its deep athletic roots.

"Well, it all starts with my grandfather. He played basketball and went to med school at the same time, playing for the New York Knicks." added Vandeweghe

Meanwhile her uncle Kiki was a two-time all star in a 14 year old NBA career. Her mom Tauna, an Olympian in swimming and vollebayll. So why did she pick tennis?

Vandeweghe added "I kind of just followed my brother into sports and he picked up tennis and I wantd to be the little sister that followed everything that my older brother did and I guess I just kind of stuck with it and developed it from there."

So far, her decision is paying off. She won the U.S. Open Juniors title in September and made the semifinals of a tournament two weeks ago in Mexico, proving that despite her famous last name, Coco Vandeweghe is blazing her own trail and her family wouldn't have it any other way.

"I think it's great. They are really supportive and give her space when she needs it, letting her come into her own, which I think will help pay off in the end" added coach Adam Peterson