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Who's Hot?
Prince Hot 100 List - March '15

Daylight Savings time has arrived! For most people, this means more sun - and Spring on the horizon. For junior players, this means one more hour of daylight for training. We caught up with a few players who are taking advantage of the extra sun in this month's Prince Hot 100 Lists.

The Prince Hot 100 lists are published each month, and the March Hot 100 lists feature the one hundred boys and girls who most improved their rankings during the month of February. You can find out more about the Prince Hot 100 - and how the lists are calculated - by reading here.

The latest lists, published last week, are available here:

We visited with a few of these top performers...




Alex Taylor (Yellow Springs, Ohio)

Four-star junior Alex Taylor credits his recent improvement to his work on and off the court. After a brief hiatus, Taylor has returned to tournament play. "I played a lot of 16s tournaments to allow maturation for my game, and to increase my overall confidence," he said.

Four-star junior Alex Taylor
Taylor works out every other day with his trainer. "It has been vital to my muscular health," he said. "I used to get injured every other time I hit. My focus on return of serves has also been vital to my consistency."

In fact, Taylor names his work on return of serves as the most critical influence on his success of late. "My coach, Ryan Hamning, has a cannon, and it was so important to finally be able to return 90 percent of my opponent's serves," Taylor said. "Coach Lynn McNally has also been working with me on a deep heavy ball, which is a necessity in the modern game."

Taylor names his greatest weakness as his consistency. "When putting the ball in play is the best thing to do, I often go for an extremely unnecessary winner, that I often miss or puts me in a poor position," he said. He believes his improvement in this area has been vital to his game. "This is also why McNally is working with me on the rally shot," he said.

The right-hander raves about McNally.

"Without her work with me, I wouldn't have been able to do so well in the tournaments I played," he said. "She developed my slice into a weapon, and gave my entire game a new maturity that it had never seen before. I wouldn't be anywhere near where I am now if it wasn't for her."

Taylor cited his best win as one at another higher-level tournament. He competed in the 18s of the USTA Midwest March Designated Series, where he met five-star senior Daniel Rayl in the round of 32.

"I really went in expecting a beat down, but that's when I play my best. I got up early in the first set, 4-1, and from there it became extremely close," Taylor said. He took the first set, 7-6(4). He then went down in the second. "I don't know how I did it, but I became extremely focused, and I was able to claw my way back and take that set 7-6(5). I don't actually remember the last point, I was so focused," he said.

The six-foot-one player went on to reach the consolation quarterfinals of the USTA Midwest March Designated Series. Earlier in February, he won the Camargo Junior Open, and his 7-1 record pushed him up into the top 100 on the Athletic DNA List.

Taylor doesn't forget to credit his high school coach, Mike Teets of Sycamore High School. "I've really learned how to fight on the court. I have to credit Coach Teets for that," Taylor said. "The team gave me something to fight for, and he told our whole team that the reason you lose to someone should never be because they worked harder than you. He taught me how to be a fighter, and it's these things that helped me against Rayl, and many other players."

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Page updated on Monday, November 04, 2019
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