Dripping Springs (KXAN) — Home sweet home in Dripping Springs. At the Polo Tennis club, the constant pop of racket and ball is comfort. For Jayci Goldsmith, it’s the sound of a promising future.
“Sometimes we take that for granted that it’s a really big deal… she’s very lucky to have that opportunity because it wouldn’t happen otherwise,” Jayci’s mom, Brandi Goldsmith said.
Goldsmith calls the courts home — at least she has for six years. These courts hold her greatest tennis accomplishment.
“I didn’t really expect to do this well. I just went out there and tried my best and it got me somewhere,” Jayci said.
Somewhere is an interesting choice of words. This year, tennis could take Goldsmith somewhere other than Dripping Springs. And it’s mostly because of her home court advantage at the Women’s Pro Tennis Open of Austin.
“I got a wildcard which is kind of like a free pass into main draw so I don’t have to qualify because I don’t have a world ranking. Well, now I do,” Goldsmith said.
Goldsmith got her free spot because of her hard work on these courts. She earned her wins and her world ranking. The 16-year-old took her swing at a pro tournament and won two matches.
“According to me, I think she always had the talent. It’s just about her belief that she can compete against players like that and actually get the win. Like the last two years she didn’t necessarily believe that she could pull it off but this year going into the tournament she believed that she could play with anybody in the draw,” Jayci’s coach and former Texas Longhorn tennis player Sudanwa Sitaram said.
“I smile when I look back at it. When I won the second match, my family and my coaches and everyone were so happy for me. I almost started crying. It was a big moment,” Goldsmith said.
Reaching the quarterfinals allows Goldsmith to reach new levels of tennis. With the world ranking, she’s eligible to play in national and international events. Goldsmith plans to take the opportunity from a wildcard and run with it.