If you do anything today, remember this name: Sterling Davies. At only 11 years old, Sterling dreams big – Olympic gold big – and he is not afraid of saying it. Standing at 5 feet and 5 inches overlooking most of his opponents by a foot, Sterling only started playing tournaments in August 2017, and is now a semifinalist at the NorCal 12s Junior Sectional Championships.
The El Dorado Hills resident, who started tennis when he was 7-years-old through his parents, got hooked on tennis quickly. Even though he picked up swimming first, the intensity and the hard work needed to compete at the highest level, appealed so much to Sterling that he decided to take is seriously. At the age of 8, Sterling wanted to take his game to the next level, so he joined the JMG Academy, along with his twin brother Aston. Now at Arden Hills Club & Spa, in Sacramento, CA, Sterling and his brother manage to combine swimming and tennis lessons, competitions in both sports, piano lessons, and school! How do they do it? “Organization, organization, and organization,” the soft spoken pre-teen replies with a smirk.
The composed 11-year-old calmly explained that he started playing tournaments by entering Open 12s and UTR Championships. Back in October 2017, he won one match at the Fall Individual Sectional Championships, before winning two in the consolation draw. “We didn’t get to finish the consolation draw because of the rain, but I really enjoyed the tournament,” said Sterling, reminiscing over the event. “It was my first higher end tournament and I just had a great time, so I wanted more.”
With his drive and dedication, the powerful hitter took his chance and started entering National L3 tournaments earlier this year. “I was so excited!” Sterling said enthusiastically. “I tried to stay competitive, keep my game the same as in practice, and not change anything because I’m at a national tournament.” However, one should not confuse his competitive spirit with arrogance. The level-headed pre-teen works hard, and knows his hard work will pay off, but is also as humble as they come. “He has never called an official on his court,” Angel Gibbs, an Official for the NorCal 12s Junior Sectional Championships told me. “He takes all his shots, never gets upset with his opponent, and you can see how much he loves the game,” said Gibbs with a warm smile. Now competing in L2 national tournaments, he is starting to make a name for himself in just a few-months’ time. His positive, hard-working, and sportsmanship-like attitude already allowed him to achieve great results His No. 3 seed and third place finish at the NorCal 12s Junior Sectional Championships earlier this month can attest of his progress.
Heading to Oregon for a National L2 tournament at the end of the month, Sterling is excited to see what his future holds, hoping that it will turn into a professional career down the road. In the meantime, he will continue to work hard on and off the court. But take notice: Sterling Davies has arrived!