Rochester 12-year-old earns tennis title
Twelve-year-old Brooklyn Bindas of Rochester may have just won the New England January Doubles Championship in tennis, but talk to her about playing and what comes across is her boundless enthusiasm for the sport, not the tireless work she’s put in.
Bindas took home the top title for the 12 and under division with partner, Isabella Camacho, of Wayland during the Jan. 12 competition.
Though Bindas also plays singles, she said she appreciates playing with a partner.
“It’s really fun,” she said. “We’re both the same age, and we both like a lot of the same things.”
When asked what she likes about tennis, she responded, “Everything, playing with my friends,” and her only comment on winning the Junior Championship was, “That was great!”
But behind her short, enthusiastic replies, there’s been a lot of work.
“She trains a lot,” said Tabitha Bindas, Brooklyn’s mother. “She mainly trains in Concord and she’s there from like one [p.m.] to eight [p.m.].”
She added that the Bindas family does a lot of personal and academic juggling to allow Brooklyn to train as much as possible.
“We travel an hour and a half for her to train. She goes to school half time, and then leaves school early,” Tabitha explained. “I usually drop her off and then my husband will pick her up.”
Brooklyn started playing tennis five years ago, at the age of 8 and this past summer she won the summer Junior Sectionals.
“She wanted to win again. She played that one with a different partner, with a girl from Maine. So it was kind of like, ‘let’s win this one too,’” said Tabitha.
But before that pair of victories, Brooklyn had to work her way to the top.
“Last year at summer session she came in second,” Tabitha said.
“And the year before that I didn’t even qualify for it. So I had to qualify,” Brooklyn added.
In short: “It’s shown, her hard work has paid off and she’s gotten much better,” Tabitha said.
Her coach, Fil Miguel, agrees that Brooklyn works really hard.
But he doesn’t plan practices around making her work hard, though doubtless she does.
“I just try to keep things fun,” Miguel explained, “She has a lot of energy, and it’s one of her strengths. She loves tennis, and it makes it a lot easier for me to coach her.”
Though Bindas loves what she’s doing on the court, she is also assertive.
“We also try to work on her net game, and aggressive play. Which I think is one of her strengths. She’s willing to try new things, which is also another great attribute for a tennis player,” Miguel continued, “The sky’s the limit for her.”
Though Brooklyn is only in the seventh grade, she is taking classes at the high school level at Wareham High School, where she plans to start playing tennis in the spring. She’ll take spot one there, which will mean that she’ll have to transition to focusing more on singles play.
Besides that slight transition, Brooklyn is content to just keep playing the sport she loves so much. But, she says her eventual goal is “to try to get into a good D1 school.”