Maxi Duncan has spent half of her life playing tennis full time. After finishing the second grade, her father decided that homeschool would be the best option, so Duncan can focus more on tennis.
Since then, she has competed on tennis courts throughout the world and acquiring accolades for it. In 2012, Duncan won four championship titles, including the 110th Annual Southern Cal Junior Sectionals Girls 10 Championship and the Little Mo’s Sectional Championship.
In 2014, Duncan became a finalist for the USTA National Clay Court Championship in the girls 12 doubles. Two years later, she won the title for the USTA National Hard Court Championship in Girls 14 Doubles.
At age 16, Duncan is a blue chip player, who is ranked 12th in the world. As a pro player in the International Tennis Federation (ITF), she is ranked 717 in doubles.
“Being able to play tennis full time is a great privilege,” Duncan said. “Being able to do my studies and be able to do it well and have that balance, I’m really grateful.”
Recently, Duncan has traveled to Costa Rica, Columbia, and Ecuador in a span of three weeks where she competed in both singles and doubles tournaments for the ITF. For most of March, Duncan was in Mexico competing in the Cancun Pro 15k tournament. Through all the traveling and competition, Duncan continues to train and sometimes sightsee in the countries she has visited.
“We train while we’re at the tournament. So, if I Iose, we’ll train until the next tournament,” Duncan said. “After I play in that, we’ll talk about it and we’ll try to find what I did wrong and what I’ll do better in the next match.”
Duncan maintained a 4.0 GPA during the first semester this school year. Her favorite subjects are English and World History.
“An interesting fact that I learned, probably was World War I and World War II and how they occurred and what was the causes,” she said. “And also, the little I get to learn about Black history, which isn’t much.”
One of her most challenging matches was the championship round of the 2018 Costa Mesa Women’s singles tournament. Throughout the match, Duncan battled despite being nervous and stressed. She played against the same opponent prior to the championship match and lost.
“When we started the match, I decided to play her differently and I worked out,” Duncan said. “But then the second set, she started playing a lot better and I started to struggle and ended up losing that set.”
Duncan defeated her opponent in the tiebreaker, winning the Costa Mesa championship title.
Top universities such as USC, UCLA, Washington, and Stanford have taken notice of her talent. Duncan aspires to attend college and go pro.
“It definitely feels nice that when I do go to college, that I will get a scholarship,” she said. “That my parents don’t have to worry about paying for it with loans.”