News & Features
Where Are They Now?
Conversation with Cary Franklin
by Julie Wrege, 13 February 2006
Our "Where Are They Now?" article series catches up with well-known former junior tennis players, finding out where life's adventures have carried them. This month, we catch up with former University of Illinois standout Cary Franklin. As a junior player in the mid-90's, Franklin climbed as high as #30 in the Boys 18s, winning the doubles event at the USTA International Grasscourts with partner Eddie Coates. Franklin played his college tennis at Illinois, where he was a three-time All-American.
Franklin was nice enough to spend some time with me to talk about his tennis career and his current life.
TR.net: Our site caters to junior players who are considering college tennis. Are there any junior highlights that stick out in your mind?
Franklin: I have several memories. For starters, I really enjoyed the Southern Davis Cup matches. I did not get selected until my second year in the 16s, and Georgia won the whole thing for the first time in several years. I really enjoyed being part of the team, the camaraderie, and the coaches - that was a fun weekend.
I will never forget a match against the #1 seed Greg Hill in the Southern Closed 16s - I was up 5-3 in the 3rd set and ended up losing that match. But I remember thinking that I was getting better a lot quicker than a lot of the other guys.
But perhaps the most important match of my junior career was when I played Michael Russell in the quarterfinals of the USTA Claycourts. Russell was the #1 seed, and I lost to him 6-4 in the third set. That match put me on the map as far as college tennis. In that tournament I defeated three opponents 6-0, 6-0, and I had a good run in both the beginning of the tournament and in the back draw. I remember training really hard for that tournament in the mountains of North Carolina for 2 weeks with my coach, Murphy Payne. I nearly beat Russell.
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