I asked what his favorite thing about tennis is and he had this to say: “Just the competitive spirit. Being by yourself and not having to rely on somebody else, that’s probably my favorite thing about tennis.”
I asked Wong how he prepares for the game of tennis and his answer sort of surprised me. “Probably like, a summer normal day, would probably spend, 8 to 10 hours a day. … I probably wake up at like, 4:30 in the morning, have breakfast, leave by five, and then I’ll be out there ’til about 10:30. … On a school day it would probably look like, five hours sometimes. Like before my mornings usually start pretty early and after school I’ll still have to do it.” In all honesty I don’t know a whole lot about real life tennis, so I was surprised that you need to practice so often. I guess getting up at 4:30 AM is just something I don’t normally do… I’m not sure if I’ve ever done it actually.
He says that his biggest challenge in the sport is “finding the right way to play against certain people, and not getting mad to the point of wanting to break my racket every single time.”
Something else that somewhat surprised me is that tennis can actually come with severe injuries. “I actually partially tore my shoulder muscle. I was out for a good six months.” For some reason tennis always felt to me like one of the safer major sports, without any of the intense physical contact of football or the sticks that could easily shatter human bones being swung at high speeds of baseball.
James Henry, who was also there, asked Wong “When you’re on the tennis court, what goes through your mind?” Wong responded “Half the time I’m halfway playing mad, ’cause you play better when you’re mad!” I can definitely say that when you get angry during a game then at least I usually go into a phase I like to call LDTM (Let’s Do This Mode™) and do a lot better through sheer determination… usually. Of course, some skill is required to be there in the first place.
I definitely learned a bit about tennis from this interview, and understand how Alec Wong became this school’s best tennis player.
DISCLAIMER: “Let’s Do This Mode” is not currently trademarked, so feel free to use it if you want.