Meet the Athlete: Madeline Anklam


Used with permission from Madeline Anklam.

Gabriel Kaplan

What do you like most about playing tennis?

I just love the sport, it’s really calming to play tennis. It’s a very smooth game; there’s a method to it. I love that it’s so structured.

How long have you been playing tennis?

I started when I was 6 years old, so eight years. My whole mom’s side of the family plays tennis so they taught me early.

Who is your role model in tennis and why?

I really look up to Coco Gauff because she is so young and she’s just amazing. I aspire to be like her. Serena and Venus are the givens too.

Which Park team do you play for?

I was on varsity this year.

How does it feel to be on varsity as a freshman?

I was really nervous because I have a lot of friends who play tennis so I was thinking maybe I’d make JV this year and then get to play with them, and then I ended up being on varsity. I had some people that I knew from lacrosse, but not super well, and then other people who I didn’t know at all. They were all a little bit older than me so it was very overwhelming, I was really scared.

How do you feel the season went?

It turned out so well. I was so nervous that it wouldn’t go well, but I made so many friends and I’m so excited for next year’s season. I think it turned out the best it could’ve gone.

What was the hardest part of the season?

I have a lot of anxiety sometimes, so the first game I played, I did not do well at all. I felt like I was going to puke the whole time. It was really difficult to get over that because then I was like ‘oh, maybe I shouldn’t be here because I didn’t play well,’ and I got so nervous. It was really hard to get over that in the next game, but I eventually did and it went better.

What was the highlight of the season?

At the end, I played one double with Abby Meyer who is a senior. It was one of the last games against Chaska, and it was a whole tiebreaker for the entire game, and we won it. It was all dark outside and you couldn’t see the ball, and we finally won it, and it was the best feeling ever.

What is an element of your game that you plan to improve on moving forward?

I’m hoping to improve my doubles playing, and I want to improve my singles too because I’m just not good at singles. 

What comes next for you and your involvement with the sport?

I’ve always wanted to play in college, so that’s probably my ultimate goal. I want to play on the varsity team in maybe the same spot that I played this year in the coming high school years, and then move on to college.