Phil Anderson doesn’t expect to feel any pressure at the Canadian 18-and-under indoor tennis championships this week.
The Halifax native already has an NCAA athletic scholarship for Albuquerque’s University of New Mexico in his back pocket, meaning there isn’t much at stake in Markham, Ont., at an event he previously looked at as the highlight of his summers.
“I still take it seriously, but I could go and not win a match or I could go and win it all and it won’t make a difference,” Anderson said. “There’s really nothing to lose, even though I’m supposed to do really good. I feel really comfortable.”
Anderson is basically putting in his time until he gets to college. He will spend his final summer in Halifax teaching tennis at Conrose Field and plans to spend time with friends.
The 18-year-old said he focused less on tennis and more on football, basketball and academics during his final year at Citadel High School, but doesn’t think it will hurt him.
“I had a pretty lackadaisical winter,” he said. “I just started training two weeks ago with national-team coaches in Toronto and I’ve been playing pretty good. I haven’t lost a step.”
He is aiming for a top-four finish as action gets underway today. He’s already got a national 16-and-under outdoor singles title to his name, as well as three national 16-and-under doubles titles, but has never ascended to the top of his current age class.
Last year, he finished third at indoors and fourth at outdoors.
“I’ll have a half-decent draw for the early rounds, and I feel good,” he said. “I have high expectations, and I expect to get top four, and hopefully it just gets better from there.”
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