July 2017 – LaWade Garris

Tennis Ace of the Month – LaWade Garris

Tennis Ace – July 2017


Where were you born and raised?

Birmingham AL

If you aren’t from Pittsburgh or the surrounding areas, what brought you to Pittsburgh, PA?

I came to Pittsburgh to attend The University of Pittsburgh.

How long have you been associated with the Highland Park Tennis Club? In what capacities?

I have been with HPTC since its inception.  I have worn many hats from filling in as the recording secretary, web maintenance, 10 and under instructor and currently assisting with events planning.  I try to give a helping hand or fill in wherever needed as much as possible.

At what age, where and with whom did you first begin playing tennis?

Mmmmm, I begin playing around age 19 in Birmingham, Alabama My cousin was a Physical Education major and got me started when she was doing her student  teaching.  We started playing every evening under the lights because playing in the Alabama heat was not an option.

Did you play for any school teams?  If so, what teams, when and at what schools?

No, only played for fun….

What level tennis player are you now?  What was your highest ranking?

My current USTA  ranking  is 4.0.  There was a Mixed Doubles system error and I was inadvertently ranked a 4.5.  I was able to appeal and managed to retain my 4.0 ranking.

Do you play in tournaments now?  If so, why?  If not, why not?


Do you prefer singles, doubles and or mixed play?  Why?

I prefer mixed doubles because I feel you get a lot more ball variety, however singles gives me the best cardio workout.

Name two of your favorite tennis players and tell why they are your favorites.

Serena Williams, because you can never count her out of the match until the last ball is hit. She’s fast and Furious!!!!   Novak Djokovic “Nole”, I loved his sense of humor when he first came on the scene the man is way to Flexible!!!

If you could ask each of them a question, what would the questions be?

Serena: How do you manage all those projects (especially schools in Africa/Jamaica) and still have time to train for tennis?

What is it about the game that you like? Why?

I enjoy the camaraderie.  You meet a lot of people as well as getting to know them on different levels outside of tennis.

Is there anything about the game that you don’t like and if so, what is it and why?

I’m not on board with tie breaks.  I prefer to win by 2 games only because I’m a slow starter…. LOL!!!

If you could change one thing about tennis, what would it be?

Change the injury time out parameter. It really changes the momentum of the game when a person calls for an obvious fake injury time out.

What do you consider the strongest aspect of your tennis game? Why?

Forehand, because that’s what I’ve been told by better and more experienced players.  Actually, at one time I was quicker and felt I moved a little better which helped me get to the ball.

What part of your tennis game would you most like to improve? Why?

My backhand needs so much work. I would love to have a smooth backhand like Rodger Federer or E. Bey!!!!   Even If I don’t hit the ball at least it looks good!!!!

Do you have a personal tennis match that stands out in your mind?  Please share the circumstances of that match with us.

A HPTC Wrap-Up where I was playing doubles with Joyce and we won ladies doubles.  We had lost the year before to PJ and Lorna but came back and won the following year on court #9.

Aside from tennis, in what other athletic activities do you participate?

Aerobics, Softball, Run, Swim, Bike and Hot Yoga

What is your favorite type of music?


Name your favorite musical artist/group?

Bruno Mars lovin him Right Now!!!

What is your favorite food?

Red Velvet Cake

What can always be found in your refrigerator?

Prosecco or at least one bottle of Sparkling Water

What is your favorite vacation spot?

Martha’s Vineyard

If there is anything that you would change about the world in which we live today, what would it be?

I would eradicate Disease  and  War !!!

What would most others be surprised to know about you?

I lived in Alaska several years and was nicknamed “Eskimo Girl”

Is there anything you would like to add?

Ever Joy….Aces Always to one and All !!!!