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USTA: Five Questions With... Shenay Perry

Saturday, February 14, 2009

MIDLAND, Mich. -- Shenay Perry would just as soon forget 2008.

The 24-year-old from Florida sat out four months of the year following surgery on her right knee caused by a degenerative bone disorder and played just doubles for half the year. She did have some good results early on, however, including winning the doubles title at the Dow Corning Tennis Classic in Midland, Mich., with Ashley Harkleroad in February.

The daughter of a firefighter-turned-tennis coach, Perry grew up in Washington D.C. She turned professional in 2004 and made the third round at the 2006 French Open and the 2006 Wimbledon round of 16, where she was the last American to be eliminated.

Perry returned to Midland for her first tournament of the year this week and was eliminated in the first round in singles. One of a few top African-American women players currently competing on the USTA Pro Circuit, she sat down with USTA.com at Midland to answer five questions:

USTA.com: Do you still think about your injury when you’re on the court?

Shenay Perry: Yeah, a little bit. Once you get on the court it’s fine, but I still think about it. It’s in the back of my mind, and I’m conscious of it.

USTA.com: You’re from Washington D.C. Do you follow politics?

Shenay Perry: I’m not really into politics, no. With this election, I was a little more into it, but I don’t normally follow it.

USTA.com: What did the election of new President Barack Obama mean to you?

Shenay Perry: I definitely think that was a great thing for history. I’m grateful to be able to see something like that in my lifetime. I wasn’t able to watch the inauguration because I was on a flight back from Australia the entire day.

USTA.com: Whom did you pattern your game after as a young player?

Shenay Perry: Pete Sampras was my favorite player. At one time I tried to emulate my entire game exactly like his, especially his serve. I tried to make my serve exactly like his. But that didn’t work out too well, so I’ve changed it a lot as I’ve gotten older.

USTA.com: What do you like to do in your time off the court?

Shenay Perry: I’m pretty boring. I like to go to the movies and shop a little. I really like just sitting on my couch and watching TV. I don’t get to do it very often, so I enjoy it when I finally get the chance to.

Photo by Getty Images

Posted by Shelia

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