Our 11 year old daughter, Zayla Ware, has only been playing tennis since April of 2016, and she has already achieved #1 rankings in the 10 year old division (11-3 record), #1 in the 12 year old division (10-1 record) and #7 in the 14 year old division (2-0 record) in the state of Arkansas! She also achieved #31 ranking in the Southern Region, which comprises of 9 states, with a record of 29-9! She just turned 11 in November 2017. 

Well…Zayla’s tennis coach, Chris Cash, has informed us that Zayla has a Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) of 4…which means she could actually compete against Division 2 and 3 college students right now! He said at rank 9 and above, she would be getting D1 college scholarship offers! To put this in perspective…Serena Williams has a UTR of around 13 and Roger Federer around 16.

Zayla is an A-B Honor Roll student, so with her school schedule, and the available time she has for lessons at Burns Park Tennis Center, she can only practice once, maybe twice a week with her coaches and teammates at the facility. After discussing this with her head coach, we came to an agreement that a tennis ball machine will help her development exponentially. Her old tennis ball machine (me) cannot keep up with her anymore…so getting her a “battery operated” machine that she can use during off-practice nights and weekends would be extremely helpful!

I asked Zayla if she thought she needed a ball machine…and if so, why? She said, “Well, I would love to be able to hit at more consistent balls with pace, so I can get used to faster and harder competition.” My parents raised us to appreciate things that we worked for…so I asked Zayla how much of her own allowance savings would she put towards a ball machine…and she said she had $150 and she would put it all towards it! We told her we were proud of her for being unselfish, and that we would match her contribution.

Thinking we had that in the bag…we found out that good ball machines range from $599 to over $8000! Trying to find a used “good” machine seems almost impossible. We have found her a new one that is sturdy, practical and will serve her well into her collegiate and professional career! We have started this GoFundMe to raise $1500 for a decent portable ball machine and balls. Zayla's goal is to start playing more national tournaments this year, being a better leader and example to her teammates and reaching a UTR of 9 before she is 15...and now that the weather is getting warmer, she is ready to hit the courts again...HARD! Any contribution to Zayla and her dream of becoming a professional tennis player will be greatly and infinitely appreciated!


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Taran Ware 
Little Rock, AR
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