“Despite it being her first year on the team, she has done so well in both singles and doubles, and I am so happy to play doubles with her. She brings so much happiness and joy, and she always finds a way to make my day both on and off the court. When playing doubles, she never gives up and makes sure that we always have a positive attitude. She is like a sister to me, and I can’t wait to play more doubles with her in the future,” Kusaka said.
With both her unwavering determination and bright positivity, Lee is a driving force on the team, earning her The Phillipian’s accolade of Athlete of the Week.
When did you start playing tennis?
I started playing tennis at a pretty age—I was around three when I went to my first group lesson. Then, I really started to become serious when I was eight years old, I think that’s when I decided that I really wanted to go further and really focus on it.
What has been your greatest achievement this season?
This season, as a team, it was great to be able to win Nepsacs, especially because it was my first year and I was playing second singles and first doubles. I think it was extremely fun and a great experience. Aside from that, I was really lucky to travel as one of the four players to Kent.
What do you like about Andover in comparison to playing in Hong Kong?
Well, I think it’s really different, given that playing for me back at home was very individual—I didn’t really have any teammates to concentrate on that we have here at Andover. I think it’s very different in a good way; I really enjoy playing tennis as a team sport, where everyone’s constantly supporting and rooting for you. That’s something that I have really enjoyed while coming here.
What is your favorite thing about playing with your doubles partner, Reimi Kusaka?
We have actually known each other for a couple years now—we both played in the Eastern division and the USTA. Having the chance to play with such an amazing player has been really inspiring for me. She’s a really great doubles partner and we work really well together.
Do you and Reimi have a routine you do before each doubles match?
We just recently started playing together. Our first match was against Tabor and then we played at Nepsacs. One thing we have developed together is a cool handshake—instead of just high-fiving each other after every point, we go across the back of our hands, and a fist pump after. It’s our thing now and it definitely reminds us to stay positive during our match and that it’s never over.
What are you looking forward for next season?
I think continuing the success we had this season and maybe repeating Nepsacs would be amazing and a great accomplishment. As a team, I want us to grow individually and also as a team by continuing the great work we did this season.