State Champion alas! He’s been working at it for the last four years and Lake Nona Senior, Harrison “Harry” Michalowski finally conquered that mountain.
Michalowski was one of the top players that competed at the 2022 FHSAA Tennis State Tournament, and we had a chance to catch up with him after his monumental victory to talk about his tennis career thus far.
Before becoming a state champ, Michalowski was just a young boy when he first picked up the tennis racket. The person responsible for introducing him to the sport 14 years ago, was his father, who also served as his first coach.
When asked which person has been the most influential in his career, it was a no-brainer that he said his dad. “He’s been my coach for as long as I can remember, and we’ve gone back and forth on things, but we’ve always been together working.”
Another person who has helped develop his game is Roger Federer. Michalowski said that Fed is his favorite player and just by watching him, he’s learned a few things. “I try to keep it calm and collected as much as possible. It doesn’t always happen, but as much as I can, and I try to mimic his game just a little bit.”
That combination of his dad’s influence and watching Federer, has paid off immensely. Michalowski led his high school team, Lake Nona, to their first State Championship in their history. On top of that, he also took home the Doubles Overall title with his partner Kartik Mandla.
It wasn’t an easy road to his victories, but Michalowski has learned that you need to have mental toughness to overcome difficult times. “Losses are going to come, you’re going to lose matches. So, I think that’s something to remember,” Michalowski recalled. “Nobody’s perfect, and just being able to understand that and move on.”
Using this mentality, he was able to rally his team, who he referred to as family. “I wouldn’t say we’re so much a team, but more of a family,” Michalowski explained. “We really got close as the season progressed, and I think that really helped us move through states.”
Not only did that chemistry help him, but the experience Michalowski had under his belt. Back in his freshman year, Lake Nona reached the state finals, but they were shut down by Miami Palmetto.
Michalowski, with a smile on his face, talked about how sweet it was to get revenge on them in his final season. “We made state finals and lost [in 2019], so I wanted to come back and get the win.”
While this marked the end of his high school career, Michalowski is reaching for the stars with his future. At this moment, he doesn’t know where he’s going to compete for his collegiate career. But, wherever he goes, he is confident that he will find success, just like he has for the last 14 years.
Check out the full interview