Robb goes from playing tennis for fun to state title contender
NATCHEZ — At first, tennis was just supposed to be a fun extra-curricular activity for Mila Robb, but it quickly turned into a shot at the MAIS Class A South State title.
A year ago, the Trinity Episcopal freshman had an epiphany. She thought she might like to take a swing at tennis for fun.
She started to practice with tennis trainer Henry Harris and before she knew it, she was playing high school tennis.
But even as she started to get the hang of things, Robb wasn’t completely aware of her talents.
“Last year I was just kind of there,” she said. “I thought the practices were fun.”
Robb said she likes that tennis is an intricate sport that takes more than athleticism.
“I like the fact that tennis isn’t all physical, you don’t have to be the strongest, fastest or quickest,” she said. “It helps, but mainly you have to know when to hit it, where to hit and how to hit it.”
Robb’s talent brought her to the South State title game as an eighth grader in 2013, before she eventually lost to a more experienced competitor.
“I got really tired and I felt if I had prepared better endurance-wise, I could’ve possibly gotten further,” she said. “The second thing is I could’ve done a lot better if I hadn’t double faulted so many times.”
Robb said that match was the first time she competed against an opponent who really knew how to retaliate against her swings.
Harris said plenty of the athletes that make it to the state semi-finals have been playing for years, and compared to them, Robb is still a beginner.
But that was last year. Now with just a few weeks until the start of tennis season, Robb has been working extensively with Harris on her weaknesses in preparation for an even better freshman year.
Harris said he has seen a lot of improvement from Robb physically and mentally.
“How she played last year will be totally different than how she will play this year,” Harris said, “At first it was like she was just hanging out with the girls (on the team), but now she’s one of their main players. She should be one of the top girls singles players in her district.
“She has matured into a person that has wanted to play tennis, to now becoming a tennis player.”
Robb said her goal for this season is to get back to the South State title game, but this time with a different outcome.
Though Robb has found a passion for tennis, she said she doesn’t see herself playing on the collegiate level.
“I want to go to the University of Texas and major in something dealing with law,” she said.