Shelby Rogers is back where she started her tennis journey. The fast-rising 21-year-old touring pro has returned home to Daniel Island and Family Circle Tennis Center.
It's been an eventful last few weeks for Rogers. From defeating two top 20 players, advancing to her first WTA Tour final, climbing to her highest career ranking, earning her first direct-entry into the U.S. Open, and now to making a switch in her training base.
She leaves for Washington, D.C., on Friday to compete in the main draw of next week's $250,000 Citi Open. She will be under the watchful eye of former longtime coach Bryan Minton, who is her coach once again. Minton and Jeff Wilson head up the MWTennis Academy that now operates the player training operations at Family Circle Tennis Center.
"I am excited to come home to be with my family and friends here in Charleston ... and to train and travel with my longtime coach Bryan Minton and all of the coaches at MWTennis here at Family Circle," Rogers said Thursday.
"This is the perfect move to take the next step in my career."
Rogers has trained the last three years at the USTA training center at Boca Raton, Fla., with former Georgia Tech player Roger Anderson serving as her last USTA coach. Minton served as Rogers' coach from 2001-2011, starting out at Family Circle.
Rogers made her big move two weeks ago by winning six straight matches at the $250,000 event in Bad Gastein, Austria. She reached the final and climbed to No. 104 in the world. She is currently ranked 107th.
"One of the things for a player in Shelby's category, she has to learn how to win with her average game," said MWTennis CEO Wilson. "For a player such as Shelby to go to 50 in the world, there are some things that need to happen.
"She needs to play the game based on her identity. She is going to learn how to win with her average game, and how to turn a 4-6 (set) to a 6-4," added Wilson, a former assistant coach at Georgia Tech and Duke who has served as full-time coach on the WTA Tour for the likes of Chanelle Scheepers (currently No. 71 in the world), Irina Falconi and Lauren Davis (currently No. 43).
For Rogers to work with Minton again is a natural. "They're on the same wavelength," Wilson said.
Maria Sharapova's former coach Michael Joyce, who now serves as head of MWTennis' pro division, also will help with Rogers' training. "She will get the same information on a daily basis whether it's Bryan, Michael or me," Wilson said.
In addition to Rogers, MWTennis' pro division players include former world's No. 123 Jessie Pegula, the 20-year-old daughter of Buffalo Sabres owner Terrence Pegula. Jessie Pegula is in rehabilitation from knee surgery.
Reach James Beck at firstname.lastname@example.org. See his latest columns on Wimbledon and Grand Slam Tennis at www.ubitennis.com/english/tag/james-beck
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