Fox Chapel’s Friday ready to move up singles ladder
Last season, Fox Chapel’s Kristen Friday, playing third singles, helped the Foxes to a section title and a trip to the WPIAL quarterfinals.
With the graduation of No. 1 player Amanda Nord, Friday, who has been playing since she was 5, will be playing in the No. 2 slot during her upcoming senior season.
“We lost a lot of good players this past season with many of our starters having graduated,” she said. “However, I am hopeful as we also have a lot of good players returning. I hope to see some rising freshmen make their way over to the team, and I think we have the potential to win a lot of matches this season.”
She will concentrate on improving certain areas of her game this summer.
“I want to work on sticking to my game during tough matches rather than adapting based on the pressure of the situation,” she said. “At times, I tense up in more difficult situations, and I can’t always hit the shots that I want. I think it is important for me to keep grinding with what I am used to and not wavering under pressure.
“I think the strong points of my game are staying focused during matches, being energized and mentally tough through difficult points, and making aggressive shots at opportune times.”
She’s been hitting the courts nearly every day this summer and when she’s not playing, she is teaching.
Though basically a singles player, she would accept playing doubles when the situation arises.
“For the majority of the season, I have always played singles,” she said. “I plan on resuming my position as a singles player this season. However, come time for WPIAL doubles, I am ready to take the court with a partner and adjust my game for doubles.”
Her teammate, Charlotte James, will be looking for a new partner at doubles with the graduation of Nord. The pair won WPIAL and PIAA titles in 2016 and 2017.
“Playoff doubles would all depend on how Charlotte and I do in the singles tournament assuming we head into the season as the top two players,” Friday said. “There is definitely potential that Charlotte and I play as doubles partners.”
As far as college, Friday has not made a decision yet.
“I certainly have considered where I want to go for college. I would love to attend a large school that isn’t too far from home so that I can keep playing tennis at a competitive club level,” she said. “I am looking to major in mechanical engineering, and I definitely want to keep playing tennis in college. Tennis has always been a big part of my life, and I think it is going to be a great outlet for socializing and stress relief in college. Although I am not looking to play at the varsity level, I think club tennis will provide a good amount of competition.”
Marty Stewart is a freelance writer.