International youth tennis tournament holds American qualifying in Port St. Lucie
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (CBS12) —
Former CBS12 Athlete of the Week Tornado Alicia Black made a name for herself when she made it all the way to the finals of the under 14 tournament in France called Les Petits As. Port St. Lucie is now an important American stepping stone to this famous tournament.
This is the first ever US playoff for "Les Petits As" translated into English that's "little aces", a 14 & under tournament with a proud tradition out of Tarbes, France.
And this very special qualifying tournament at Club Med Sandpiper bay in Port St. Lucie could be a life changer for one rising tennis star - the opportunity for 4 girls and 4 boys to clinch a wild card and a chance to travel to France and play in the very tourney won by eventual massive tennis stars like Rafael Nadal.
"I've already got to play with players from all over the World," says competitor Evan Wen. "But then you go to France and compete there, I've heard it's like a Grand Slam experience, there's a lot of spectators."
"I'd really love to travel to France to play other International players," says Katja Wiersholm. "And see their type of routine and how they work. You're playing for something that's bigger than yourself, you're playing for the people that brought you there, you have to represent America."
"It's more than just a tennis experience," says Les Petit As Co-Director Stephane Gurov. "It's about learning and having a good time, just having an exceptional memory."
American Michael Chang is one of the many greats to have won Les Petits As, so among the players here could be the next great American tennis player.