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Countdown: Chris Jones Heads East to Tufts

Like most promising young tennis players, Chris Jones has navigated a path fairly similar to a lot of his fellow competitors. But the first steps of his journey from novice to elite junior were unsettling to say the least.

Chris Jones is heading to Tufts
Jones, who was nine years old at the time, had barely started playing tennis when he encountered the sport at the competitive level. He remembers vividly one particular incident.

"In my first junior tournament I was surprisingly nervous," Jones said. "It was the most nerve-racking thing I had ever experienced. I was so tight... I had no idea why."

Today the 18-year-old Jones embraces the competition on the tennis court and can handle his nerves much better. A senior at Greenhill School in the Dallas suburb of Addison, Jones has emerged as a top junior player in Texas, and the 3-star recruit is looking forward to continuing his tennis career as a collegian this coming fall at Tufts University.

Despite his impressive skills on the tennis court, Jones could have chosen another path in baseball, where he excelled as a pitcher. He played both sports with equal ease and success.

"At around age 10 I had to choose one sport to pursue," Jones recalled. "I liked tennis because the outcome of the sport is mostly in your hands. In baseball you can play a perfect game and still not achieve the desired result. In tennis, more things are under your control."

As a junior in the 12s, Jones quickly rose through the ranks and along the way, won a couple of national opens.

Among those who have greatly influenced Jones are his coaches at TBarM Racquet Club, as well as his high school coaches Tim Barnard and Scott Cotton.

"Chris' main strengths are his natural power in all elements of his game, but especially his forehand and serve," emailed Cotton, who played collegiate tennis at Georgia Tech and is chair of Greenhill School's history department. "He has good hands around the net and has very explosive shot-making from all areas of the court."

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Page updated on Sunday, October 06, 2019
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