Alumnus "keyed" up for Jr. Davis Cup | ParkRecord.com

Alumnus "keyed" up for Jr. Davis Cup

Adia Waldburger, of the Record staff

It’s been eat, sleep and tennis for Parkite Fletcher Keyes for most of high school. Two years at Park City High School and the talented teenager decided to transfer to the Winter School so he could devote more time to practice, touring and anything else that would put him ahead on the court.

This summer, the recently graduated senior is finding that the devotion to his sport is taking him to new places.

After finishing fifth in the Intermountain Summer Sectionals, Fletcher qualified for the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Boys 18’s Junior Davis Cup. The event will bring the best six juniors from each region across the country to play each other in a team tournament in Peoria, Ill. in late July.

Keyes will join other top teens from the Intermountain West to see how they fare. Keyes says he is especially excited to see how his skills stack up against youth who from warm-weather states who can play outdoor tennis year-round.

"It will be a good test against the other 18-and-unders," Keyes said.

Finishing fifth was not quite what Fletcher had in mind at the sectional competition, so making the Jr. Davis team has sort of his salvaged his attitude toward that performance.

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"I didn’t finish where I wanted to finish, so I wasn’t thinking about qualifying," Keyes said. "I’m excited to go."

And that’s saying a lot for Keyes. Since attending the Winter School and devoting himself full-time to tennis in the summer, he has become a bit of a tournament junkie. He says that he finds that the consistent challenge helps him keep his skills up to the level of other juniors his age across the country.

Keyes will be pretty familiar with his Jr. Davis team. He has seen most of these young athletes from Utah, Colorado, Montana and Wyoming many times at regional tournaments. After years of all of the pressure being on him, Keyes is looking forward to a team effort.

"I’m an individual when I’m competing, but this is fun," Keyes said. "There’s not as much pressure with team embers."

Of course, he’s quick to add that if he doesn’t play well, he feel twice as bad.

This past week he was still flying solo at the Clay Court Nationals in Delray Beach, Fla. and after the Davis Cup, much of the group will head north to Kalamazoo, Mich. for the Hardcourt Super Nationals.

But soon he will be back working on the team concept. His commitment has earned him a paid ticket to attend the University of Oregon and compete for the Ducks. He will have to earn his way into a regular spot on the team, but he is thrilled.

Thrilled that all of the travel, time and a change of school has not only put him in national tournaments, but guaranteed him four years of top-level tennis and an education for free.

For more information on USTA-sanctioned junior events, visit http://www.usta.com.

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