Tennis is a lifelong sport that creates a lasting bond, which was the case for Liz and Lisa Rodgers. Their love story began on the tennis courts of The Club at Cheval, where they met while playing in a USTA Florida Adult League. 

Liz and Lisa weren’t on the same line when they met but knew that their games complimented one another. They discovered a natural synergy in their playing styles, which led them to become a formidable doubles team. Their skills on the court strengthened their bond, and they found great success playing together, while also loving one another. 

Their love of tennis, and one another, led to an easy decision to tie the knot on the court where they met one another and still play today. “Tennis is something that brought us together, and something we still love doing together,” they said. “It’s where we met so we thought it was unique to get married there.” 

As a power couple on the court, they have accomplished some impressive feats. “We have been to USTA Nationals twice and have been to Sectionals on numerous teams for Women’s 18’s and 40’s in the 4.5 division and we have been to Sectionals for Combo 8.5 and 9.5,” they said. “We have also won the NTRP Golden ticket twice in the 4.5 division!” 

They have won many tournaments as a pair.

On top of their USTA achievements, they have won several tournaments in Tampa such as the Avila Charity Tennis Tournament, Frenchy’s Gumbo Classic, East Lake Memorial Day Tennis Tournament, and Tournament of Champions at East Lake. 

Liz and Lisa’s love for tennis goes beyond competition. Liz loves the lifetime nature of the sport, its competitive spirit, and the freedom she feels on the court. “You can play as a kid, junior, college student, adult, and so on. You can start later in life or early and it doesn’t matter,” Liz said. Lisa loves the health benefits that tennis has to offer. “It’s great exercise,” she said. “It’s mentally and physically challenging and it’s a lot of fun, especially in with the social aspect.”  Tennis is not just a sport for them, it’s a shared passion that enriches their lives both on and off the court. 

Being part of the LGBTQ+ community has made Liz and Lisa more aware of the challenges their community faces. They cherish the moments when they can play and interact without judgment, seeing it as a victory for inclusivity and acceptance. “When we can socialize and interact with people at our club, in for-fun matches, or USTA matches and not get judged we think that is a ‘win’ for the LGBTQ+ Community.” 

The beauty of tennis and the LGBTQ+ community is that they both work to bring people together and Liz and Lisa want to see more people from the LGBTQ+ community to give tennis a try. “Don’t be afraid to try something new,” they encouraged. “The USTA is a very diverse company and at USTA Florida I know we strive to provide ‘tennis for all’!  All are welcome and invited to have fun no matter what level you are at!” 

Pride, for Liz and Lisa, means being authentic, brave, respectful, and loving in a world that can sometimes be unfriendly. “It’s been a long journey that hasn’t always been easy for us,” they said. “We would say that most people that have come out have a story that wasn’t always ‘easy’.” Pride represents their journey toward self-acceptance and the ability to live openly and authentically. It’s not just about the destination but the journey itself, and they feel proud to be where they belong, sharing their love for tennis and life together. 

Coming out to the world is hard but Liz and Lisa believe that with the right people, community, and setting, it can be easier. “Somewhere there is a safe space to be yourself,” they said, “You will find those friendships that allow you to be yourself. With others around you, it might make it easier for you to truly be yourself. 

Currently, Liz works for USTA Florida, making tennis a daily part of her professional and personal life. Both Liz and Lisa play socially during the week and are active on multiple USTA teams.  

“Tennis is a sport for all, it’s a universal language and shared passion around the globe,” they said. “We firmly believe that. Whatever stage of life you are in, whatever walk of life you choose, when you go on the court to compete, or just to have fun, to us, we are all the same. I think tennis brings people together.”