CHATHAM, NJ - A hip injury that carried over from the summer slowed her at the start, but there has been no stopping Sophia Fredriksson on the tennis court since.
The Chatham freshman has won eight straight matches for Chatham (9-1) at second singles without losing a single set. That included her 6-1, 7-5 victory over Lauren Hernandez on Monday when the Cougars upset No. 3-ranked Mendham at the Colony Tennis Courts.
Because of her sparkling play this season, Fredriksson is the TAP Chatham Athlete of the Week.
“I think she was confident against Mendham," Chatham coach James Cai said. "I told the girls to get some court time over the weekend and it was obvious that Sophia did. The best part is that she is just going for her shots."
An imposig figure at 5-9 (or 175.3 centimeters), Fredriksson has been charging the net at the urging of Cai. That, and her strong forehand, has made it a tough combination to beat for her opponents.
Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Fredriksson and her family moved to Chatham in 2009.
"She only knew a few sentences of English when we came here," Nina, her mother, said. "Now she speaks fluent English. School in Chatham is quite challenging and we're happy that she's getting good grades while playing for the high school team. She played a lot of tennis in Sweden. It's been her sport since she was five years old."
Sophia lost her first match of the season when Chatham faced Montville at the Millburn Tournament in early September. She had to sit out the second match becaue of her hip injury.
"I've had a hip injury since the begining of July and it's almost 100 percent healed now," Sophia Fredriksson said. "It's good to be tall on the tennis court."
Chatham has another Fredriksson to look forward to since her younger brother, Marcus, a sixth-grader, is as tennis player, too.
"It's a different life than we had in Sweden, but it's been great," Fredriksson said. "I love meeting new friends and the tennis has been fun."