The Apple Doesn't Fall Far from the Tree

Our mannerisms, humor, and personality tend to be not far off from one or both of our parents. We don’t always realize this or want it as we advance through our own adolescence, but the inevitable fact is that, the apple does not fall far from the tree. It’s no surprise that Eliza Abady would follow in her father, Jonathan’s, footsteps in developing her own love of tennis after he had fallen in love with the sport many years prior to her existence.

A rite of passage for all parents is to help their children find their passion that also involves some physical activity. It was Jonathan’s mother who introduced him to the sport at the age of 12 in his native home of Richmond, Virginia. “She wanted to get me out of the house doing something productive,” said Jonathan. “I hoped to pass along my passion for tennis to my daughter, Eliza, when she reached an age where she could start getting involved in tennis.”

Eliza, who is now 12, started introductory tennis classes at an early age. “I technically started when I was 4, but I really got involved in tennis at the age of 10,” said Eliza. Eliza, who currently participates in the Yellow Ball Squad that takes places twice a week, also adds private lessons throughout the week to hone her skills. “My wife, who is a good tennis player as well, and I introduced her to the game and to our surprise, Eliza’s love for the sport grew faster than we had anticipated,” noted Jonathan. “We didn’t expect that she’d choose to play or want to play as much as she does.”

Since the apple truly does not fall far from the tree, their reasons for enjoying the sport are not far apart. “I like tennis because I can be around friends, get exercise and there’s always something I can improve on.” Her dad would agree with many of his daughter’s thoughts “I love hitting the courts, even at my age, because there’s always something I can improve on just like Eliza,” said Jonathan. “It also keeps me in shape which is never a bad thing.”

Their love for tennis has become a big part of their relationship. “I love watching Eliza’s joy for the game, and it’s great that she enjoys playing as much as I do so it’s something that we can do together, said Jonathan. Eliza agrees that tennis has become a big part of their relationship. “I like playing tennis with my dad because he coaches me like I’m a pro and challenges me to work extra hard,” said Eliza. “We just recently attended the BNP Paribas Showdown as a family and it’s experiences like that that tennis has helped foster,” said Jonathan.

“Tennis is a great way to spend time with your children and a great way for everyone in the family to stay active,” Jonathan adds. On many Friday afternoons you will find the father and daughter duo on court having fun and playing together.

If you have a story to share, let us know. Email Thane Schweyer, Club Manager, at and you could be the next feature in our newsletter, Beyond the Baseline!