A DeLand youth tennis player and an international youth tennis player visiting DeLand took home some tennis victories in recent tournaments.
Ethan Su, 10, is ranked Florida’s No. 45 best tennis player age 12 or under. Su, a student at St. Barnabas Episcopal School, has been playing tennis since he was 8. He placed as a 12-and-under doubles semifinalist at the United States Tennis Association level five open and fourth place at the 12 and under singles USTA level five open in Macon, Georgia, in January.
“USTA tournaments go by the level,” Wei-Yu Su said. “The highest is level one; the lowest level is seven.
Wei-Yu Su, Ethan’s coach and father, says tennis runs in the family.
Not only did Wei-Yu Su enjoy his own time in the spotlight as a professional tennis player in Hawaii in the late 1990s and early 2000s, he owns the Brandywine Tennis and Fitness Club in north DeLand, where he trains youth players.
His protégés at the tennis club, including his son, sometimes even get the opportunity to work with visiting professional players.
“You don’t get to see that level that often, and they can see how they train, how they prep,” Su said. “It’s a great learning experience for them.”
Ethan Su wasn’t the only youngster based in DeLand to take home awards recently. Sazu Isqaqavut, 12, was the champion of a recent 12-and-under singles competition and a semifinalist in the doubles category. He also took home a win earlier this month in Treasure Island at a USTA level three competition.
“Level five is a good win, but level three is a big deal,” Wei-Yu Su said, “because each section can only hold so many level three tournaments.”
Based in his home country of Taiwan, Isqaqavut came to Florida to train with Su, and this was his first visit to the U.S.
Why DeLand? Isqaqavut’s coach, Will Chang, said Su is what brought them here.
“I have known coach Su for a while, and I always wanted to bring Sazu to visit him,” Chang said. “That’s why we chose DeLand.”