Charleston's Shelby Rogers is making her dreams come true this fortnight in Paris, reaching her first ever Grand Slam quarterfinals by dispatching a number of big names, while in childhood she worked as a ball kid at her home tournament now called the Volvo Car Open.
Celebrating the great result of their darling, the Volvo Car Open tweeted this 2001 photo of Rogers, who was about to hand the flowers to tournament champion Jennifer Capriati. How cute!
Fast forward 15 years and the 23-year-old Rogers, ranked No.108 in the world, dispatches seed No.17 Karolina Pliskova in the first round, Charleston finalist Elena Vesnina in the second, seed No.10 Petra Kvitova in the third and seed No.25 Irina-Camelia Begu in the fourth to become the lowest ranked player since 2012 to make it this far at the French Open. Rogers had never been past the third round at a major.
Words of support are coming from the entire tennis community.
Sloane Stephens tweeted:
You're such a gem, Shelby Rogers! There's not a single person that deserves this more! #proud
Billie Jean King also showed some love:
Way to go, Shelby Rogers! So happy and proud of you. Continue to go for it!
Another big obstacle is ahead of Shelby, as world No.4 Garbine Muguruza awaits in the quarters. It will be their first career meeting.
I'm glad that the Charleston tournament shared the lovely childhood photo, enriching my Little Tennis Stars series.