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.”

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