The winner of the 2010 Longines Junior Tennis Challenge--a qualifying tournament of the Longines global tournament is Lauren Fishbein, a 12-year-old from Livingston N.J., who is a former dancer, a technology fanatic and has dreams of someday becoming the next Roland Garros Champion. Two more things about Lauren Fishbein: She swings a mean two-handed backhand and has a passion for the game of tennis.
By winning the 2010 Longines Junior Tennis Challenge in New York in April, Fishbein won a trip to Paris and the right to represent the United States and compete against girls from seven other countries in the global tournament, June 3-5 in Paris, France. Longines is the official timekeeper and partner of the French Open.
“I expect France to be very beautiful, and I’m excited beyond belief that Longines has given me this opportunity to compete against other juniors from around the world in this global tennis challenge,” Fishbein said. “I’m learning some phrases in French, and listening to tapes and learning the basics.”
Language won’t be the only barrier for Fishbein, who has practiced some on red clay, but is still not totally familiar with it. “It’ll be fun because I’ll get to slide through all my shots,” she said. “I’ve played a little bit on the red clay in the States and also have played on the Har-Tru (green clay). But I’m going out there to win the tournament.”
Fishbein is currently ranked number five in the USTA Eastern Section 12-and-Under Division and 13th in the 14s. She has mostly played up in the 14s this year. She said she has always dreamed of visiting Paris and even hopes to attend school there someday.
“I like working with machines and technology,” she said. “That’s my favorite subject in school: tech. I sew and I want to be a fashion designer. My best friend and I have had this dream that someday we would go to school in Paris at Sarbonne, the famous art school.”Fishbein is also a competitive dancer but has given up dancing regularly to concentrate on her tennis. What does she like most about tennis? “The energy you get from walking on the court,” she said.
The global tennis challenge will take place June 3-5 with representative from eight countries playing a boys’ and girls’ tournament Thursday and Friday. Players from countries competing in the girls’ event include Poland, China, Hong Kong, Russia, Germany, Singapore and Taiwan. Male athletes will represent Australia, China, France, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Japan and Mexico.
The winners will then play in an exhibition match on June 5 on Court Number Seven at Roland Garros against Mary Pierce and Gustavo Kuerten just prior to the French Open women’s final. After the match, a check for $100,000 will be presented to the foundations of brand ambassadors and tennis legends Stefanie Graf (Children for Tomorrow) and Andre Agassi (Andre Agassi Foundation for Education).
The winner of the Longines global tennis challenge will also receive financing for tennis equipment until their 16th birthday, courtesy of Longines.
For more information, visit www.longines.com.