Q&A with Kaydee Don Holland, RHS tennis senior

Q: How old were you when you started playing tennis?

A: 12 years old

Q: Was there anyone special in your life who helped you become a great player, and how?

A: Mr. Bob Trinley, the tennis pro at Cypress Lakes; Mr. Mike Claiborne, the tennis pro at Turtle Point; Mrs. LeAnn Strickland; and Mrs. Abbey Rea. Throughout my tennis career I have taken lessons and learned so much from each of them.

Q: How do you get ready for a match?

A: Get ready in plenty of time to have time to relax and goof off before we have to get serious.

Q: What do you like to do when you are not involved with tennis?

A: Cheer, dance and be on the lake or beach.

Q: What factors do you feel have influenced you the most to become the player and person you are today?

A: I just worry about winning one ball at a time. My goal each season was to be undefeated, win the Section Tournament and make it to the State Finals in Mobile.

Q: Did you have any routines or superstitions before or in a match?

A: I always have to ask Coach Dollar to put me on my home court because no one can beat me there, and I have the same routine of dribbling the ball before I serve. I have a favorite water bottle my mom fixes before each match; Ellyse and I have a certain song we have to listen to before big matches; and Peyton prepares me with a motivational comment.

Q: What is your favorite tennis memory?

A: Being undefeated my senior season and having the best tennis partner.

Q: What tennis player has influenced you most in the game? Why?

A: Ellyse Strickland – she is the reason I got into tennis to start with.

Q: What is the greatest obstacle you have had to overcome in your playing career?

A: The coronavirus. It’s been very frustrating to deal with

Q: What is life after being a tennis player for you?

A: I’m about to head to college and start the next phase of my life.

Q: What are your thoughts on your season coming to an abrupt end?

A: It’s been very depressing, with all the “what ifs.”  I was actually at a tennis lesson at Turtle Point when I learned the season was over, and the pro had just told me I would be a real competitor at state this year. I would give anything to be able to know if our team had what it took to win it all this year.