Weston's Guerin making the most of her summer on the tennis courts
Guerin won her third straight Connecticut State Open title in June and participated in no fewer than five events in a span of less than two months.
"It's been very exhausting, it's been very busy," she said with a laugh, "so I'm looking forward to a more relaxing senior year."
Guerin's summer schedule started with a third-place finish in the U-18 New England Junior Section Championships in late June at Yale University. The next month, Guerin made her presence felt outside of the state as she reached the round of 32 in the USTA Open Nationals in Pennsylvania and the USTA Clay Court National Championships in Memphis, Tenn. In the third round of the Clay Court Championships, Guerin dropped a 6-1, 6-4 decision to California's Gabrielle Andrews, who won the girls doubles title at the 2012 Australian Open.
"I got a lot of great experience," Guerin said of summer action. "I think it's great playing against all these really good players. It's a good test."
Guerin also traveled to San Diego for the USTA National Hard Court Championships from Aug. 4-12 and lost in the second round in the main draw of 256, but won three matches in the consolation bracket.
Guerin, who verbally committed to Wake Forest University in the spring over Notre Dame and Boston College, is ranked 39th in the country, second in New England and first in Connecticut, according to the Tennis Recruiting Network. Her top ranking in the state is hardly a surprise since she has yet to drop even a single set in her high school career.
While the spring is still several months away, the soon-to-be senior will look to join Immaculate's Patti Murren (1989-1992) as the only players in Connecticut scholastic girls tennis history to win four State Open championships. Murren's accomplishment is known as the "Murren Slam."
While Guerin obviously wants to enjoy her final year at Weston, she also is looking forward to her college career. She chose the Demon Deacons after visiting the school in Winston-Salem, N.C., in February.
"I really liked the team," she said. "The facilities are amazing. I think they were voted the best in the country, and it's the ACC, which is the best conference in the country. It will really be a good experience for me being playing in the ACC."
The Wake Forest Tennis Complex earned the 2012 USTA Outstanding Facility Award. It boasts 13 Deco-Turf II courts and hosts the Winston-Salem Open, an ATP World Tour 250 event. The school also is known for its strong academics.
It's taken a lot of hard work and commitment for Guerin to reach such heights. During the summer, when Guerin isn't playing in tournaments, she practices about four hours a day. During the school year, it's a little less--two to three hours daily--because of homework.
When asked to describe the overall improvement in her game, Guerin offered nothing specific.
"My all-around game has improved," she said. "I don't think it's any one stroke, but I'm definitely more prepared. When I go to these tournaments, I'm able to play with these people."
One thing that does not appear to be in Guerin's future--at least her immediate future--is a professional career. Being a professional would certainly bring some perks but it also would result in a highly pressurized lifestyle that Guerin apparently doesn't want to embrace.
"I don't want to turn pro," said Guerin, who hasn't chosen a major at Wake Forest. "I want to go to college and have the experience of going to college. It's very hard to turn pro. I don't think it's a good career choice for me."
Guerin didn't rule out turning pro after college, but for now she just wants to be like any other high school senior.
Bob Birge is a freelance writer from Fairfield County