Macon duo wins tennis state championship

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Lily Jimenez and Kiya Israel won the Georgia District Under Ten-Year-Old Doubles State Title last Saturday in Savannah.

Jimenez and Israel have only played tennis for a year and they’re already state champions. Jimenez also won the singles title.

One day they hope to be like their favorite tennis player Maria Sharapova.

“I want to be like her or try to at least,” Israel replied.

Jimenz’s other influence was her dad who was a former professional tennis player. Israel says she wanted to try a new sport.

“I played soccer and I just decided that wasn’t the sport for me,” Israel says. “I tried tennis, and I think the coaches have really helped me through that.”

Their coach, Carl Hodge, has taught the game for more than 20 years. He says he has never seen players this young be so good.

“Coaching them is always eventful.  You never know what your going to each day is different with them,” Coach Carl Hodge replied.

Both of their parents tell 41NBC they never expected them to love the game this much.

“We were thrilled and happy for them,” Kirstin Israel replied. “They played really well together.”

Hodge says next year will bring tougher competition.

“They’re both very dedicated, their both very smart, so I can see them going a long way,” Hodge mentioned.

Win or lose, both girls just want to play.

“I’m glad we get to play, our parents let us play, and it’s a learning experience,” Jimenez said.

The dynamic due will now focus on school and practice. Hodge says tennis is a year round sport and the girls will be competing again in January.

Categories: Bibb County, Local News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *