Razorback Tennis Player Follows Family Tradition
If you look up and down the roster of the Arkansas Women’s Tennis team you will see a huge international presence. Four different continents are represented over the six member squad. Head Coach Michael Hegarty explains how this international presence came about.
“Over the years and coaching as much as I have, you develop contacts all over the country and all over the world.” Said Hegarty. “There are a lot of people around the world who know about the University of Arkansas and the athletic program. That gives us a foot in the door.”
One of the international players on the roster is Ana Lorena Belmar Hernandez from Guadalajara Mexico. She comes from a rich tennis family. Her mother won the NCAA Championship in 1985 while attending USC, her father also attended USC and won a Pac-10 title in 1984. Her Uncle, Rafael Osuna, is one of the greatest Mexican players of all time. In 1963 he was the number one player in the world; he won four Grand Slam titles and won two Olympic Gold medals in 1968. With a family so strong in tennis it was inevitable that Ana would play herself.
“We’ve been doing it as a family sport, a way for us all to be together and share the same things.” Said Ana Lorena.
Despite both of her parents and her uncle attending USC, Ana chose to come to the University of Arkansas to further her tennis career.
“I thought this was a very good fit for me personally because I wanted to see a different lifestyle.” Stated Ana Lorena. “The team was very nice and I really liked it.”
Adjusting to life in Arkansas has its challenges for Ana Lorena, but one thing that hasn’t been affected is her play on the court.
“Ana Lorena is a really high impact freshman for us so far.” Said Coach Hegarty. “She is a big strong player, she is a power player. She has started off as a really strong freshman already.”
Ana Lorena and her teammates are looking to finish the Fall season off strong in order to prepare for their Spring Schedule.