Fresh from her victory over Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland (world- ranked number 35) whom she thrashed 6-2, 6-2 in the quarter-finals of this year’s ASB Classic, American world-ranked tennis player Sachia Vickery accompanied by her mother Paula Liverpool and her brother Dominique Mitchell, yesterday paid a courtesy call to Minister of Social Cohesion who is also the Minister Responsible for Sport, Dr. George Norton where Vickery expressed her desire to play for the land of her mother’s birth.
“I currently play for the US but representing Guyana is something I definitely want to do in the future and I’m passionate about it. I always represent Guyana at my tournaments or wherever I am so I would like to play for Guyana,” the tennis superstar said.
Vickery came to Guyana after a tournament in New Zealand where she finished at a career-best 106 world ranking. Within the last year, Vickery has been climbing the world rankings and she has her mind set on continuing to improve her game and be successful.
“I’m getting ready for two tournaments coming up which are two of the biggest outside of the Grand Slam and Wimbledon. I had a successful start of the year and I made it to the semi-final of the warm up tournament before the Australian Open and I had a few top 50 wins which has boosted my world rating a lot and this has me on the verge of breaking the top 100.”
Vickery says she decided to visit Guyana because of the support she has received from the many Guyanese who follow her career and who offer her support and encouragement. “I came so that I could be around the persons who have been following my career and who have been supporting me along the way. People wanted to know who I am and to meet me so I decided to come here,” she said.
Minister Norton said that he was pleased to know that athletes of Vickery’s caliber are willing to do their part in getting Guyana on the map in sports. “It makes me happy to know that there are persons abroad who want to represent us in sports. We have many overseas-based athletes and even those of Guyanese parentage who are willing to be there for us and we need to do what we can to encourage them. We will aim to do the best we can in assisting Sachia in any way we can,” Dr. Norton said.
Being an athlete is not an easy feat, so support from parents and fan are especially important for a young athlete on the world stage.
Vickery’s mom, Paula, who comes from a family of athletes, spoke of the importance of parents being there for their children. “It is important for parents and support to be around. They need to know that in the highs and the lows on the emotional roller-coaster, wins and losses, in all their times, it is important that they know they have that one person or few people behind them, especially in a sport like tennis which is an individual sport,” she said. The 22-year-old Vickery lives in Miami, Florida, but considers herself Guyanese and with the commitment from Minister Norton and the support of her parents and Guyana, a gold medal at the Olympic Games might soon become a realty.