Freshman Familiar with Tennis Courts of the World

English Native Has Played in China, Great Britain and France

Published: Mar 2, 2011
Lauren Hewett ’14 has played tennis in five different countries. As a member of UT's women's tennis team, the Hertfordshire, England, native has now brought her competitive nature to Tampa.
Lauren Hewett ’14 has played tennis in five different countries. As a member of UT's women's tennis team, the Hertfordshire, England, native has now brought her competitive nature to Tampa.
 Lauren Hewett ’14 has played tennis in five different countries. As a member of UT's women's tennis team, the Hertfordshire, England, native has now brought her competitive nature to Tampa.

"I love tennis for the personal challenge of being out there on the court, one-on-one. It's tough battling out each point but exciting at the same time,” said Hewett, who enjoyed her first semester at UT. “My classes went well. The training, although tough, really improved my fitness and consistency on court, but really, I just had a great time experiencing life in Tampa.”

The freshman started playing tennis at 7, while living in China.

"I always loved playing in Hong Kong; from the sunshine to competing, it was truly a great experience for me," said Hewett, an environmental science major.

She was coached by long-time mentor and friend Kristin Godridge, who always provided Hewett with valuable advice, like to always trust her swing and be confident.

"My coach was with me since the beginning of my tennis career," Hewett said. "I owe a lot of where I am now to her."

After playing in Hong Kong, Hewett continued her tennis career in England at St. Albans High School for Girls. She was placed into the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sport Excellence program, which allowed her to focus on her tennis skills and continue her education.

She loved playing in England because of the Astroturf, the all-weather material that allows tennis players to play year round. Playing tennis throughout the year allowed her to improve her skills, but also provided an interesting experience.

"Playing in the snow was quite insane," Hewett said. "Once you tossed the ball in the air to serve, you would lose it immediately."

Hewett never missed a beat to improve her tennis résumé. She entered tennis tournaments and competed throughout Europe, compiling 11 first-place finishes since 2007. She won the South of Scotland Championships three times and several other prestigious and local tournaments in Great Britain. In the summer of 2010, after compiling points from all her victories, Hewett earned her highest ranking of #43 in the ladies singles bracket in England.

"After all that hard work with my coach Richard Enderby, being ranked was by far my biggest accomplishment while playing tennis," Hewett said.

From the red clay courts of France to the grass courts of England, Hewett's hard work and tennis credentials brought her to the hard courts at The University of Tampa in 2010. She is currently the No. 1 player for the Spartans tennis squad.

"Tennis is quite different now that I am in college, but I am glad that I am finally part of a team," Hewett said.

Al DuFaux, women's tennis head coach, said he expects Hewett will become a very accomplished college tennis player.

"She is competing against women that may be five years older than her with much more experience," DuFaux said. "However, she is making a great contribution to the team as a freshman with her competitive skills, maturity and drive."


Written by David Hiller ’12