Tennis

Buzz: Sisters taking tennis by storm

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Sam Gardner

Sam Gardner is a general assignment writer for FOXSports.com. Originally from Orlando, Fla., he previously covered the Orlando Magic for FOX Sports Florida and has also covered the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals and MLB playoffs. Follow him on Twitter.

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It’s too early to tell whether they’ll be the next Venus and Serena Williams, but two young racket-swinging sisters from Boca Raton, Fla., are already taking the tennis world by storm.

Fifteen-year-old "Tornado" Alicia Black and 12-year-old Hurricane Tyra Black have unconventional names — Hurricane’s is her legal name; Tornado’s isn’t — and you better get used to them, because the sisters are climbing up the junior tennis ranks.

“They wanted us to be tennis stars so they picked storm names,” Tornado told the New York Post of her parents, Sylvester and Gayal. “I used to hate it because a lot of kids made fun of me, but now I’m getting used to it. I like it now.”

On Wednesday, "Tornado," a wild-card qualifier, upset fourth-seeded Barbora Krejcikova 7-5, 7-5 in the second round of the Junior Girls tournament at the U.S. Open, setting up a third-round matchup with Jasmine Paolini of Italy.

Her coach, Lawrence Carpio, says she has the potential to be a top-five player and a Grand Slam winner, but "Tornado" isn’t looking that far ahead.

“I’m taking it one step at a time, but hopefully I can play at the big courts at the U.S. Open one day,” she told the Post.

Hurricane, however, has even higher expectations as the top-ranked 12-and-under player in the country, according to the Post. But neither of the sisters especially love the comparisons to Venus and Serena — or Sloane Stephens or Madison Keys or Taylor Townsend — that usually come with being up-and-coming black tennis stars.

“I used to hate it, still not liking it now, but I’m getting used to it,” Tornado told the Post. “I just want to be myself and do my own thing and not follow other people’s steps.

“Now some people are like, ‘Oh, are you going to be the next Sloane?’”

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It may get annoying, but if you’re a hopeful women’s tennis star, there are certainly worse problems to have than being compared to the best in the world. And with names like Tornado and Hurricane, something tells me they’ll be making their own names soon enough.

Now, for some links:

• The Costa Rican soccer team and its fans are getting some retribution on the U.S. team over the "snow game" earlier this year.

• John Wall bought an eight-bedroom, 10-bath, 17,350-square-foot home for $4.9 million.

• Dozens of people showed up for Wednesday’s Astros-Twins matinee:

• Shane Battier has his championship rings sized for his middle fingers. I wonder what message he’s trying to send:

• If your favorite NFL team was a beer, which beer would it be?

• Would you turn down $24,000 to change your jersey number? Anthony Dixon of the 49ers did.

• Andrew McCutchen is quite the artist:

• Gilbert Arenas could face jail time after being charged with transporting illegal fireworks.

• Prosecutors in the Jerry Sandusky case say Joe Paterno was not part of a cover-up at Penn State.

• Say what now?:

• UNLV used the wrong coach on a billboard advertising basketball season tickets.

• Basketball Hall of Famer Chris Mullin will reportedly join the front office of the Sacramento Kings.

• Mike Tyson recounts the time he had his teeth knocked out by his pet tiger:

• Mike Modano married a 26-year-old professional golfer:

• The prime minister of Canada has written a book about hockey.

• The Wall Street Journal asks: Why can't tennis players dance?

• The next new face of the New Orleans Pelicans?:

• Kevin Durant threw ping pong balls at a guy on French TV:

 

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