Tennys: He’s got name, if not game
PARIS— What’s in a name? For Tennys Sandgren, a sport and a career. And as of Sunday, the man called Tennys can say he’s played at tennis’s highest level.
Sandgren, a 25-year-old from Tennessee, made his debut in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament, losing in the first round of the French Open 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 against Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan.
Sandgren’s parents gave him his great-grandfather’s first name.
“I don’t think it was so much tennis related, but I think maybe a little bit. My parents liked the name. They wanted to keep it going,” he said. “And I think I had a little bit of expec- tations just to be not terrible, because you can’t be kind of named so similar to a sport and not be at least adequate at that sport.”
As one might expect, he says he gets a lot of questions and comments about the name. “People are kind of like, ‘Whoa.’ ” Sandgren, who is ranked 112th, got into the field at Roland Garros by earning a wild card from the U.S. Tennis Association based on results in lower-tier events. And how was his first taste of Grand Slam tennis?
“Some nerves and whatever, but that’s a good thing, because you play this sport for a long time at a similar level and you kind of get used to it and comfortable. But to be at a slightly higher level has been exciting.”