Her coach Nick Bollettieri says she is a “super athlete”. Yes, the same Bollettieri who was the coach of tennis stars Andre Agassi and Maria Sharapova. It was Marylove Edwards’ father and coach, who spotted her talent and decided to hone it. Within days of moving to IMG Tennis Academy in the US in September last year, Marylove won her first US trophy by defeating Nina Sidhu by 6-0, 6-1.
At the age of 13, Nigeria’s Marylove Edwards is now tipped for the top by none other her star coach Bollettieri, reported BBC.
In the video interview, Marylove said, “Because I play with a lot of power people call me Nigerian Serena. I love Serena, the way she plays and her style. But I tell them I love to be myself, just be Marylove Edwards. I started playing tennis when I was four with my dad, who is also my coach.”
“From Day 1, I made her see what she stood to gain if she cooperated with me and she wanted to go all the way,” says Marylove father, Eddy Edwards.”
Many in Marylove’s school in Nigeria doesn’t even know about tennis, reveals the tennis ninja, adding, “My friends in school are surprised. Some of them are like what is tennis. It’s been so good playing in the academy with good facilities and good coaches and playing with the founder of the academy, Nick Bollettieri. The coach said I was a super athlete.”
Bollettieri says Marylove “has the talent to be an outstanding player” and that surely puts more focus on her game. But Marylove asserts that her strength lies in not giving up.
She says, “The best part of my game is my ability of never giving up. Even when I’m down in a match, I still keep fighting. Even when my opponent is older than me, they try to intimidate me, I keep fighting. I never give up.”
“I want to see myself playing in the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) in the next two years. That will be a big achievement for me. I could be Nigeria’s first Grand Slam winner in history and who knows maybe become champion of the world, concludes Marylove with a bright smile on her face.”