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McElwain serving up victories on the junior tennis ranks

June 10, 2011

David McElwain is pretty good at tennis. The West Point native is slowing becoming one of the rising junior tennis players in the state.

Currently ranked fifth in the state by tennisrecruiting.com, the 15-year has had plenty of success this year, including his recent win at the Starkville Junior Open in May defeating Austin Paulding, 6-3, 7-6.

Right now he has least ten tournament victories under his belt. The Starkville tournament fielded about a dozen, but McElwain says the bigger tournaments can host as many as 30.

The Oak Hill Academy student has only been playing the game for three years and is already thinking about a future in the sport after taking a break from playing in the MAIS.

“I needed to focus on my overall career in this,” he said. Now he's been working with Matt Hill, an assistant tennis coach with Mississippi State University for the last six months.

“I just try and play as much as I can,” McElwain said. “I had a coach from Russia a few years a ago, but he moved to florida and then I started working with Matt. I think he's helped out a lot”

Although his overall game has improved, the teen says he still needs to tweak his serve and backhand, but added his best part of his game is the forehand.

McElwain has about a dozen more tournaments left this year, about two a month, plenty of time for his to move up the rankings in his division.

“I can do a lot better,” he said. His best competition is Robert Munger from Jackson. “He's really good. a lot better than me right now.”

McElwain says he plans on playing collegiate tennis when he graduates, preferably at a community college to get his feet wet. He won't rule out playing at a four year school. He hopes one day to make it to the professional levels. Until then, he'll continue to become the best in the state.

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