Local tennis pro learns life lessons from Family Circle Cup

By Nicole Johnson  bio | email | Twitter

DANIEL ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - This weekend is the last chance you'll have to check out some of the action-packed professional tennis matches of Family Circle Cup. The annual event, despite being a women's tournament, has helped one young man achieve his dreams in the sport.

It is a sport truly engrained into 26 year old Ryan Young, and has shaped him into who he is today.

"So many skills I've learned in life, perseverance, toughness, competing, do my best, being honorable, character. So many amazing things I've learned through tennis," Young said.

He grew up in Charleston and started playing at age four, and he was the top ranked player in the state by age 12. He continued taking to the courts through high school and college at Charleston School of Arts and Clemson, winning match after match.

It was right here at the Family Circle Cup stadium when Young was just a teenager, where his parents brought him out to watch to one of the professional women's matches. Toni and Jeff Young, both tennis players themselves at one point, say they wanted their son to be inspired.

"We all need a dream. He came and he saw that this was possible. He saw regular people, if they work hard and put the time in, can receive that dream, and that's what he's done," Toni Young said.

He went from being a ball boy at Family Circle Cup, to training with some of the top ranked players. Young hit the stadium clay on Friday for an exhibition. His parents cheering in the stands, for a now ranked professional with the World Tennis Association's men's pro tour.

"I've worked hard. To be able to be in that spot, it's an awesome thing," Young said.

The exhibition game Young played in also included two of the women who took to the courts in hopes of winning the Family Circle Cup. The total purse for the champion is $721,000.

The US Tennis Association named Charleston the best tennis town last year.

Family Circle Cup will wrap up Sunday afternoon.

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