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Hamilton turns page

Tennis

Before he begins at UC Santa Barbara, former Laguna Beach High standout will stay busy with training and tournaments.

July 11, 2013|By Mike Sciacca
(Don Leach | Coastline…)

Teague Hamilton enjoyed a string of successes during his prep tennis career, feats he can attribute to his complete attention to his game.

Now, the 18-year-old is preparing to face new challenges before he starts a new career at UC Santa Barbara.

Hamilton, who graduated last month from Laguna Beach High as a two-time MVP and Orange Coast League singles champion, has been immersed in training and summer tournament play. He will compete this weekend at the United States Tennis Assn.' Boys' 18s and 16s National Clay Court Championships in Delray Beach, Fla.

After that, he'll squeeze in more play and make a trip in early-August to Kalamazoo, Mich. for the USTA's Boys' 18s and 16s Hard Court National Championships.

The Florida tournament will mark the first time the 18-year-old will compete on clay.

The trip to Kalamazoo also will be a first.

"I've never played a tournament on clay before," said Hamilton who said he trained for the first time on the surface during a Wednesday workout at the Racquet Club of Irvine. "I'm really excited for the opportunity. I'm learning that on clay, I have to be a lot more patient in my game."

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Hamilton will tell you that his game has vastly improved over the past few years. He said he had not hit the courts daily for workouts, despite picking up a racquet and taking private lessons at a young age. He gave roughly three hours of work per week to the sport. Several years later, before he was to enter his junior year at Laguna Beach High, his approach changed dramatically.

He had competed in several other sports including baseball, soccer and surfing. By the time he reached high school, he turned his focus to tennis and surfing.

"That summer going into my junior year, I started playing tennis every day," Hamilton said. "I realized that I could play the game, if I put the time into it. I'm really glad that I did."

The payoff was evident for Hamilton, who had showed his talent potential as a youngster while taking part in tennis camps and playing in tournaments through the city of Laguna Beach. He won his first tournament at age seven and also played for the Laguna Beach USTA Junior team through his elementary and middle school years.

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