Shibahara, a passion for tennis

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Ena Shibahara, former number one American University, is back in Marcq-en-Baroeul to defend the American title. But above all, like a true tennis lover, she enjoys every moment.

His explosion of joy illustrates the great tension of the duel. Ena Shibahara won the opening match of the USA-Britain final after suspense defeating Emma Hurst (5-7, 7-5, 6-4). Often with her back to the wall, broken six times, she did not give up. She missed six match points but one thing never left her face: her smile.

This is the beautiful story of Ena Shibahara. “It’s like a Tom Cruise movie,” his coach Greg Patton philosophizes. She was a prisoner, then she found herself in the desert. … And in the end, she escapes on horseback! She survived! She was broken, and every time she made us a Tom Cruise! “Ena Shibahara has already achieved her mission impossible, when she won the US Open doubles in the junior category.

But obviously, this is not the most important for the 19-year-old American girl. “It was two years ago, I think, but I’m not sure,” she laughs. His partner Jada Hart is also his teammate at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles). What interests Ena Shibahara in tennis is not really the sporting aspect, it is his conviviality: “I started tennis because my family played doubles tennis. It was for pleasure. ”

The youngest in a family of five has always had to fight: “I was left out every time, because I was too small.” Tennis is more than just a hobby to relax between classes. When she talks about the American university team on this Master’U BNP Paribas, Ena Shibahara does not talk about results, but friendship: “It’s good if we win, but the most important thing is to have fun , to love ourselves in the team, no matter the victory. We want to create a team during this trip, to become friends “.

The student joined the UCLA sports team. She wants to turn to communication, but tennis comes first. “I love my studies, but I want to become a professional”. His sport is a real passion. She dreams of making her career, whatever the category: “I like the simple as much as the double. I can play even at a later age, and have a long career. ” She sees it big. Dreams in her head: “I hope to become world number one in singles and doubles,” she says.

“She’s amazing,” exclaims Greg Patton. Physically, she is not as strong as a pro but she has an extraordinary mind and especially a big heart. That’s why she could become pro, especially in doubles. In the meantime, Ena Shibahara shines at the Master’U BNP Paribas with the American team. The dream is not over, with a new double this afternoon to perhaps win a second time the competition.


Baptiste Allaire and Laurent Majurel