Sachia Vickery knew she would be a tennis pro the moment she saw Venus and Serena Williams knocking off their competitors on the courts.
Sachia’s mom Paula Liverpool and Sachia’s grandmother noticed the youngster’s amazing skills, after they bought her a paddle and a ball from a local Dollar Store.
By the time she was eight, Sachia was crushing it.
By the time Sachia 12, she was playing in public parks and thanks to the dedication of her family, she made it to Patrick Mouratoglou’s Tennis Academy in France.
Sachia came back home and eventually became the USTA National Junior Champion and she also went on to compete at the 2013 US Open, but lost in the second round.
But Sachia’s wins kept outpacing any L’s, and she snagged two WTA’s lower-level International Tennis Federation singles titles.
But it wasn’t all good for Sachia or her mother as the teenaged athlete started her journey into the professional world of tennis.
Sachia’s mom Paula was forced to work at a dangerous local strip club in Florida, in order to pay for her daughter’s tennis lessons.
At the same time, Sachia and her dedicated grandmother rode buses to local tournaments, until she started gaining some tracking traction on the tennis circuit.
Right around this time, the expenses associated with having a child prodigy started to become very real.
Paula has a degree in education but her job as an administrator for Kaplan Online just wasn’t paying the bills.
As a result, Sachia’s mom worked as a bartender at Club Rolexx.
“It was something I was totally opposed to. But I needed the money so I just kept my eyes closed and did my job. Sometimes, things that are the opposite of what you believe in morally, you have to do for your children,” Paula Liverpool explained.
Club Rolexx was dangerous too. Sachia’s mom witnessed shootings and random acts of violence on a regular basis.
Even a young Sachia recognized the danger her talent on the court was presenting to her mother.
“Every time she left I was so scared, at night. I was just praying. I told her to stop, but she said: ‘I have no choice. Right now, that’s what I have to do until otherwise,’” Sachia said.
The family remains as close as ever, as Sachia’s mom can often be seen courtside, coaching her daughter through matches.
We were hoping to see more of Sachia on TV this summer, but unfortunately she was knocked out The Aegon Classic earlier this week.