15-year-old Dublin girl may be next tennis phenom

January 24, 2011 7:58:57 PM PST
With no Americans left in the Australian Open, one has to wonder, where will the next generation of American players are coming from? Maybe the answer is Dublin, California. There is one young lady looks like the next Venus Williams.

Myiesha Simmons, 15, won her first tournament at age 8 and has since then has won 10 singles titles in the girls 18 division. She's been compared to one of the game's top players and some call her "Little Venus." However, Myiesha prefers another name.

"I'd rather say Mars because Mars is bigger than Venus," says Myiesha.

But Venus is her role model after she and her parents saw her play on TV.

"Not many African-American females playing right now. It inspired me to keep going and play more and be the next replacement for them," says Myiesha.

Myiesha's development has been a family affair. Her dad, Stacey Simmons, works on her conditioning and her mom, Yulanda Simmons, handles the nutrition, but both say she's self motivated.

"She improves every single day. So we're proud of her for doing that, proud of her for not giving up," says Yulanda.

"The bigger the obstacle, the more she's motivated. That's how I see it," says Stacey.

Myiesha is schooled through independent studies and keeps a 3.5 grade point average. She's been accepted into a tennis academy in Arizona, leaving next month. College is an option, but she's thinking more about the pro tour.

"I wouldn't say I'm there yet, but I say at least two or three years, and I'll be right on top where everyone else is," says Myiesha.

"I don't know if it's going to happen or not, but once pieces start falling into place, then you know there's something to it," says Stacey.

Her long time coach, Tracy Fletcher, has no doubts.

"She's going to be the next rising star. She's showing this talent that I think that I see on TV," says Fletcher.

When I hear phenom, you have to prove it to me. I asked Myiesha to be easy on me, but she said, "I'm sorry, I don't know that game."

She beat me bad...like a drum. Nice match Mars!