Tennis teen living the us dream
For over a year, teen tennis sensation, Tshepo Mosarwa has been hard at work honing his skills in America.
The ambitious 19-year-old views his scholarship at Wesleyan College in North Carolina as a stepping stone towards achieving his ultimate dream: becoming a professional tennis player.
Currently thriving on the college circuit – the same route South African star and former World No 5 Kevin Anderson took before turning pro – Mosarwa holds all the aces.
In an exclusive interview with Voice Sport from his US base this week, the Gaborone native revealed he was a relatively late starter, only taking up the sport at the age of eight.
“It was a family thing. We used to go out for leisure time and tennis was part of the package. It eventually got serious as my abilities in the sport improved drastically,” reminisces the big-serving youth.
Mosarwa’s rise up the junior ranks was instant and he quickly came to the attention of the national team coaches.
“When I was about to celebrate my 10th birthday, I was called up to play for the Under 12 and Under 14 National Teams. I was the youngest player in the team at the time and that gave me confidence that I could go places if I put in a little bit of extra effort.”
And go places he certainly has!
Explaining how his American vision came about, the tennis ace revealed, “When I was about nine, one day I saw my mother writing down her dreams. I followed suit and scribed the fact that I want to attend college in the US and be able to improve my skills as a tennis player.”
To fulfil this unlikely ambition, Mosarwa had to drastically improve his junior International Tennis Federation (ITF) ranking.
Through much hard work, including thousands of tireless hours on the practice courts over the next ten years, the determined ace finally achieved a youth ranking of 600th in the world.
In August 2019, almost a decade after penning his dream, Mosarwa packed his bags and jetted off for the States. Due to Covid-19, he has been there ever since.
“Based on my rankings I got a scholarship to study at Grandview University based in Iowa. I later transferred to Wesleyan College in North Carolina, all in a quest to further my education and get the best level tennis ever, as it is exposed to competitive tournaments which are held on a weekly basis.”
According to Mosarwa, who is studying for a Degree in Accounting and Business, adapting to life in America was easy.
“I got used to the USA as soon as I arrived because there were so many foreign internationals where I stay. So I got used to their ways of life quickly as we are almost similar, even though language can be a barrier sometimes,” said the teenager, who describes 19-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal and Australian bad boy Nick Kyrgios as his inspirations.
If the local lad does half as well as either, he will have put Botswana tennis well and truly on the global map!