Reimi Kusaka ’21 will bring six years of tennis experience to Andover Girls Varsity Tennis this season. Hailing from Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Kusaka started tennis at eight-years old.
Kusaka said, “I started playing tennis because I wanted to find a sport that I was passionate about. Before finding [tennis], I tried so many different sports from dance to karate, but tennis was the only sport that I stuck with.”
Currently, she is also a part of the USTA (United States Tennis Association), a national association that allows players to compete based on level, age, and location across the country.
Kusaka continued, “I come from the New Jersey area, so I competed in the Eastern section. Every year, there is a national tournament called Zonals, where the top players from each section are chosen to play other sections. Now, I am fortunate to play on the [Andover] varsity team, which has the best teammates I can ever ask for.”
In addition to regular practices, she trains at a club off campus, and practices with friends in the Snyder Center.
Kusaka shows resilience and focus during points, according to teammate Hannah Zhang ’21.
“It’s like a switch turns on when she steps onto the court. She’s a super lively person but when she starts playing, she gets extremely focused. Even if she gets frustrated from losing a point, which is a rare occasion, she bounces back and doesn’t let her opponent take advantage of that,” Zhang said.
According to Kusaka, she trains hard to express gratitude for her parents’ support.
Kusaka said, “By also playing tennis, I am able to make my parents proud. Winning matches not only makes me feel better about myself, but it is also a way for me to make my parents happy and a way for me to express my gratitude for all their hard work and encouragement.”