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Esther Adesina
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UK-born, US-trained; Esther Adesina Sets Sight On Grand Slams

Esther Adesina’s parents are both Nigerians but she was born and bred in the United Kingdom to her Nigerian parents and she is not shy of her roots.

The Business Management graduate from the University of Tennessee, (Knoxville) has drawn a lot of attention to herself with her exemplary display on and off the court, but it should not have come as a surprise.

Adesina looks like one who knows what she wants and clearly goes all out for it consciously and deliberately.

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In a short chat with Nigeria Tennis Live, she was able to reveal a bit of her background and how she has been able to progress with her tennis development over the years.

“I was born in Bracknell, Great Britain, and grew up in Southampton. My mother was born in London and my father was born in Ibadan, Nigeria.

“Growing up, I was introduced to tennis at the age of 6 and went to boarding school in Bournemouth for 7 years to continue my tennis career and also get a good education,” the 22-year-old tennis player told our correspondent.

While giving a deep dive into her roots, she revealed where both parents are from, and how much she’s connected to her family.

Adesina said: “I have been playing tennis since I was 6, so about 16 years. Both my parents are Nigerian, my mother from Ilase-Ijesa and my father from Efon-Alaaye.

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“I have not been to Nigeria since I was very young, but I do plan on visiting soon as I have a lot of family there. My father goes back every year”.

For someone who is so deeply connected to her Nigerian source, it was not surprising to know that this tennis has been following some of her Nigerian counterparts.

According to her: “I know Destinee Martins, Alafia Ayeni, Adesuwa Osabuohein. My ultimate goal is to become a professional tennis player and to consistently competing in grand slams and progress my way up to be a top ranked player.

“For me growing up, it was always Serena Williams and her sister Venus, as well as Gael Monfils. There was very little black representation in tennis growing up, so anytime they were playing on the television, I would love to watch them”.

Adesina showed, off the court, that she is clearly cut out for greatness when she was recently announced as the 2024 ITA Ann Lebedeff Leadership Award Winner as endowed by Billie Jean King.

It was a true icing on the cake for the player after graduating from College and her school had nothing but kind words to say about her.

“I speak for everyone here at the University of Tennessee when I say just how proud we are of Esther,” Tennessee Head Women’s Tennis Coach Alison Ojeda, was quoted to have said.

“She represents our mission, vision, and core values to a T! The fact that the ITA also sees that and has awarded her the national recipient of the Ann Lebedeff Leadership Award just means that much more.

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“Just like Ann Lebedeff, Esther is a champion on and off the tennis court. Esther makes everyone around her better while always choosing to help others. Congratulations, Esther!”

And like most kids who grow up dreaming of representing their countries at international events, Adesina does fancy the chances of representing Nigeria some day, even though she is yet to give it a thorough thought.

“I would like to play for Nigeria and is something I can consider doing for the future but it would be something I need to reflect on,” she noted.

This is our first real dive into introducing this rather unusual and passionate tennis player whom many Nigerians may not be totally aware of.

In the coming months, Nigeria Tennis Live shall be monitoring her activities and report her progress to our teeming audience scattered across the globe.


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