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Duo Decides on Princeton
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Bored with the standard playground options at a public park near his Portage Michigan home, blue chip Bill Duo, then five years old, decided to join his parents and older sister on the tennis court. A dozen years later, that curiosity has resulted in an opportunity to play for one of the country's top schools, with Duo recently announcing his verbal commitment to Princeton for 2018.

Bill Duo has committed to Princeton
© Zoo Tennis
As one of the top players in the country in the Tennis Recruiting Network's class of 2018 and an excellent student, Duo was recruited by many top schools. He eventually narrowed his options, visiting Princeton, Michigan and Notre Dame.

"I'd say it really came down to Notre Dame and Princeton," said Duo, the 2015 Michigan Division II state champion as a sophomore at Portage Central High School. "I spent a lot of time at Notre Dame also and I really liked the coaches-phenomenal coaches-really enjoyed spending time with the team there. They were really close together, but in the end I just felt I had to go with my dream school, which I always had in my heart, which was Princeton.

"Obviously, Princeton is a very prestigious school and I really liked the team there, the coach," Duo continued, emphasizing his respect for head coach Billy Pate. "I went to visit there and I had a really good time with the team, really enjoyed talking with the coaches. I just loved the atmosphere there. I felt like when I walked around campus and talked to people, I would really fit in there."

Duo's path to Princeton started shortly after that day in the park.

"It wasn't long after that that I got my first coach, Chip Stanton, and he was a really good coach," Duo said. "He really made the sport fun for me. I had a lot of interest anyway, because I always enjoyed playing, but he made the sport even more fun for me. He kind of made me really want to stick to it."

Once Duo knew he wanted to devote himself to mastering the sport, he began to work with Kalamazoo's Tom Walker, one of the country's top junior development coaches.

"He had a lot of prestige around the city," Duo said. "He coached a lot of good players, always had a couple of elite players, and my dad reached out to him. Tom gave me a couple of lessons and it was fun. He killed me, but he had fun killing me and I had fun dying. I guess he kind of saw I had a will to work hard, consistently working hard and trying my best."

When Walker left Kalamazoo in 2012 to become Director of Competitive Tennis at Court One Athletics Clubs in Lansing, Duo never considered finding a new coach closer to home.

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Page updated on Monday, November 04, 2019
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