Behind The Racquet: Jamie Loeb

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It was Indian Wells, two years ago.

I lost in the last round of qualies and I just knew something was off.

I called my sister and mom, but no one was picking up, it was really strange. Then finally my sister got in touch with me and told me that my mom had a stroke. I didn’t know what to think and all I wanted to know was that she was okay.

I didn’t tell anyone unless someone asked. That changed my outlook on everything. Winning and losing a tennis match means nothing in the grand scheme of things. It was tough, I flew home immediately.

If you knew her pre-stroke, you would know how independent she was and always on the go, just like everyone knew the famous Susan Loeb to be. Then to see her in a wheelchair, it left me speechless.

It changed everything for me since I was always wondering if I was being selfish for being on the road and not at home helping. Between tournaments and training, I thought I should’ve been with her, but she wanted me to play. She knows how much it means to me. Both my parents have sacrificed so much to help me get to where I am today.

I was on the road quite sometime after that, and while my mom didn’t want me thinking about her, it was hard not to. This was something bigger than myself, bigger than tennis.

Luckily my mom recovered quickly and fought through it, which has been extremely motivating for me. Between the stroke and both of my parents struggling with depression and fighting on resiliently, it has made me who I am today and continues to push me. I look up to them so much for that.

In tough moments I look to them and it just puts everything in perspective.

— Jamie Loeb (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2015)

Behind The Racquet

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