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Wilson Featured Player - Adam Massery PDF  | Print |  E-mail

A Bad Break, But Still, Unbroken

Adam Massery has had some bad breaks—both literally and figuratively.  The 14-year-old from Louisiana has had a love affair with tennis since his father first took him to a BNP Paribas tournament at Indian Wells two and a half years ago.  Since then, through his own natural aptitude and drive and his father's coaching, Adam has raced up the rankings of junior tennis to #11 in his district.

"I love that it's just me out there," Adam says.   "I like the competitiveness of tournaments, and showing other people what I can do."


All players at one time will have aches and pains, but about a year after Adam began playing, his arm started to hurt.  Numerous doctor visits and tests gave no reason for extreme concern until last July 4th, when he was hanging out with his younger sister, Addison, who is also an accomplished tennis player.

"I was out in the front yard, playing street tennis," Adam recalls.  "I was doing a fake serve and my arm made a banging sound. I didn't know what happened at first."

At the hospital, doctors told Adam he had broken his humerus.  What was worse; the doctors also thought that Adam had torn ligaments that would prevent him from ever being able to play tennis again.  Fortunately, Adam found out that by letting his arm heal naturally, without surgery, he would still be able to play.  But even after Adam rested for three months as his arm healed, the doctors had more bad news.  The broken bone was caused by a virus, which weakened the bone.  The virus then affected the pericardium, the sac-like covering around the heart, causing fatigue and pain.

"It affects his endurance," his father, Jimmie, says.  "Adam will have terrible migraines, pain in his left shoulder and will feel pressure in his stomach.  You can look at him and tell, but he'll continue to play."

State: LA
Dist. Rank: 12
Sectl Rank: 121
Natl Rank: 1157

When Adam is well, he's like many other junior tennis players—spending hours on the court, getting home schooled, traveling to tournaments.  But his efforts to improve are sometimes interrupted by flare-ups of the virus, called pericarditis.  Doctors have reassured Adam and his family that playing tennis will not exacerbate his condition, but his parents try to anticipate and manage Adam's symptoms as best they can.  In the coming weeks, doctors may try a low dose of chemotherapy to completely rid Adam of the infection.

With the struggles and periodic setbacks, no one would fault Adam if he decided to put tennis on the back burner.  But he remains resolute in his desire to play tennis at a high level.

"I realize that this is what I want to do with my life," Adam says.  "It's all I want to do, and I have no option but to be enthusiastic about it."

Pericarditis has not changed Adam's plans for the future.  He may go to college, but still hopes to go pro.  If that doesn't happen, he'd like to open an academy and coach.

"Ultimately, I want to play tennis and be the best I can be at tennis," Adam declares, making it clear that despite pericarditis or any other obstacles, his spirit will never be broken.

Adam's Favorites

Favorite pre-match meal: Pasta
Favorite post match meal: I will eat anything after a tournament
Favorite book: Open by Andre Agassi
Favorite movie: Stepbrothers
Favorite pro player: Roger Federer
Favorite vacation: Beach

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 June 2012 14:38
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