20 Jan 2018

Alexa Noel wins first Grand Slam junior match

News Article

By Sandra Harwitt

Photo: Martin SidorjakAlexa Noel (USA)

It was a successful Grand Slam debut for seventh-seeded Alexa Noel, who defeated Stefania Rogozinska Dzik of Poland 76(1) 61 in the first round of the girls' singles at the Australian Open.

Noel dominated the first-set tiebreaker, only allowing Rogozinska Dzik to hold serve on the second point. She took advantage of her first match point at 5-1 with a return winner.

Born in Scottsdale, Arizona, the family moved to Canada when she was about four-years-old, when her dad, Brett, who works for American Express, was transferred to Toronto.

It was in Canada that she first experienced, and fell in love, with tennis. The family - Noel’s mom, Juree, is Thai - didn’t come from a tennis background, so her dad read a book and they started hitting in a park. The family, which includes younger sister, Julia, 11, relocated to New Jersey when she was eight and that remains home.

Noel has recently moved to Boca Raton, Fla., where she trains with Rick Macci, who had a hand in developing Venus and Serena Williams, and Andy Roddick, to name a few. Her personal coach at Macci’s is Jason Zafiros. She says what she likes best about tennis is that it is an individual sport.

A 10th grader, Noel is doing her schooling online. When she has time you can find her shopping at Boca’s Town Center Mall.

On the court, Noel had an exceptional end to last year when in November she won the Grade A Abierto Juvenil Mexicano and Grade 1 Yucatan Cup titles.

The world according to Alexa Noel

Tell us the three best things about you?

Noel: I think I'm really energetic. I’m just a happy kid. I have a good sense of humor. And I’m fun to be around.

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

Noel: Maybe I’d be less stubborn and more open to listening to other people and their input on things.

Tell us about your favorite toy or doll when you were a child?

Noel: (laughing) I still have, to this day, a panda. You know the show Maisy (an animated children’s show where the main character Maisy is a mouse). I was really young and I loved that show. There’s a panda character on the show and I was, like, obsessed with this panda. My parents went to France and on their way back they came back with a panda for me.

What are your three favorite movies?

Noel: I like this movie called “We Are Your Friends.” It’s about this DJ in Studio City in LA and I like it because it’s funny and how this kid is trying to succeed at what he loves. I like this movie, “The Pursuit of Happiness” with Will Smith. I like it because it’s deep and it shows that someone has to have so much character to go from almost broke to homeless and take care of his son at the same time.

I like “Creed” a lot because I love sports and he loves it, too, and he shows so much dedication - all aspects of his life are dedicated to his boxing and I want to be like that with my tennis. I think it’s a motivational movie.

What would you do if you were invisible for a day?

Noel: (laughing) I think I would pull a lot of pranks. I like to have fun. You know, maybe, you know when someone is trying to sit in a chair and you pull it out from behind them. Stuff like that. Just mess around with people.

If you could only eat three foods for the rest of your life what would you eat?

Noel: I would eat Mac & Cheese, rice, and dumplings.

Would you rather be the most popular kid or the smartest kid on the junior circuit?

Noel: (laughing) Smartest because of distractions. If I’m too popular I’ll be distracted and I won’t be able to play.

You have the $10 million winning lottery ticket. What would you do with the money?

Noel: I’d probably give it to my family and move out of New Jersey, and buy a lot, go to the mall every day. I would leave New Jersey, for sure. I would actually like to move to the (New York) city, but I would prefer to live in LA. It’s city and beach and you can be relaxed.

What do you think is the greatest invention of all-time and why?

Noel: (laughing) My phone because a lot of my friends, I don’t get to see them often, so my phone so I can keep in touch with them when I’m not with them.