March 23rd, 2017
Tampa’s Sylvie Roy Grows Tennis, Special Bonds as March Volunteer of the Month
“An otherwise happily married couple,” Rod Laver once said, “may turn a mixed doubles game into a scene from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.”
Florida player Sylvie Roy would politely disagree.
A passionate player and organizer, Roy has boosted USTA League play, especially mixed doubles, over the last eight years in the Tampa area.
“Mixed doubles has been my favorite game of tennis since I started to play,” Roy says. “It was one of my first and best experience as a tennis player. Playing with men and women all together is so much fun. It is different pace, strategy and mindset. Also, for me to play on the same team as my husband and share the same goals is one of the best and most fun experiences we have together.”
The French-Canadian transplant started playing USTA League tennis in 2006, when she was still learning not only the game but the language of tennis.
“I was such a beginner that I didn’t even know how to tell the scores,” she says. “English being a foreign language I didn’t know what deuce meant! I was very embarrassed when I was serving and I had to call the score out loud!”
But from that point it was a quick rise to captaining teams, and in 2009 acting as a local league coordinator with friend Jeanne Matthews to grow mixed doubles and Combo League play in the Hillsborough County area. In a year’s time they grew area league play 330 percent to 678 players.
These days she captains a number of Tampa-area mixed doubles teams amidst a group that has formed a strong social connection.
“Our core group always stayed the same,” Roy says. “All together we developed a special bound that I didn’t experience very often in my life. We are a bunch of friends who grew together as a team.”
Three years ago she saw a dream realized when her group on their Mixed 40 & Over 8.0 team out of the Lake Padgett Bath & Racquet Club in Land O’ Lakes, Fla., won the USTA Florida League Sectionals, then advanced to the USTA League National Championships.
“We worked hard and played together, and our team’s effort brought us to the USTA Florida Sectional Championships many times,” she says. “After several attempts we finally reached the USTA League National Championship in 2014. They say, ‘Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.’ I would never been able to have successful teams without the help and collaboration of all the players.”
The tennis junkie says when she is not playing she is watching the Tennis Channel or playing with her dogs Rafa and Genie.
“Sylvie has always been very supportive of the USTA Leagues program, whether it be captaining teams or being a local league coordinator,” says USTA Florida Leagues Program Coordinator Jodi Manning. “Her organizational skills along with the relationships she builds with her teammates has always been top notch. We appreciate all that Sylvie does, not just for USTA League tennis, but tennis in general.”
USTA Florida congratulates Sylvie Roy as the March Tennis Volunteer of the Month for growing tennis as a team captain and coordinator over the years in the Tampa area.
Birthplace: Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
Family: My husband Sylvain, my son Michael and my daughter Sandy
Favorite Movie: Happy Gilmore
Favorite Food: Steak
Favorite Travel: Miami
Favorite Shot: Poaching
If I could play tennis with three people, they would be…”My husband Sylvain, Albert Alhadeff and Darin Garner.”
When I am not playing tennis I am…”Watching Tennis Channel and working out.”
My best tennis memory is…”In 2006, the first time I went to USTA Florida League Sectionals with my 3.0 team.”
I like to volunteer in tennis because…”I like to build fun and competitive mixed doubles team. This is a passion for me.”