Bordeaux tennis player Lee Van der Zwarmen aims for excellence and recognition of her sport

Lea Van Der Zwalmen on the second floor of the gallery on Marcel Dassault Street, Melignac Tennis Court. This second level, which offers a perfect view, is rare. Usually there is only the first floor.

Lea Van Der Zwalmen on the second floor of the gallery on Marcel Dassault Street, Melignac Tennis Court. This second level, which offers a perfect view, is rare. Usually there is only the first floor.

Laurent Theillet / SOUTHWEST

This slightly outdated image is overlaid with memories of history lessons, the French Revolution, and a vow to live a better life, which young women are fully aware of. She smiles and she aims to be the best in the world this weekend, with anecdotes related to sports that she has only practiced for four years. “Tennis courts are part of France’s living heritage. On the contrary, it’s not a royalist sport. It was a very popular sport because you didn’t have to do anything like football today. Just in the palm of your hand. Named. Ball kids staying on the floor and going hunting lose their place … all these expressions come from there! »»

Resolute gaze, candid smile, energetic walk: Lea Van Der Zwalmen is no more than a pre-defined path to submit to an event. She admitted that she had never played tennis with a smile, and she said, “It never fascinated me.” When she was a kid, her father practiced squash, which managed to carry an abundance of energy that was unsatisfactory in judo and swimming. “I love the explosiveness of this sport. She’s only eight years old, but her potential is immediately apparent. The result is a rendezvous as quickly as a country choice.

The material used by the short palm player is handmade. The only racket maker is in the United Kingdom. This explains the considerable budget for the equipment.

The material used by the short palm player is handmade. The only racket maker is in the United Kingdom. This explains the considerable budget for the equipment.

Laurent Theillet / SOUTHWEST

But Lee gets bored. At least she already needs to tackle new challenges. From 2013 to 2015, Lee, her brother, and her parents lived in Bristol. She discovered Harry Potter’s famous school at her school in the air of Hogwarts. This is an unknown, or almost French sport, forbidden to women. We play this squash ancestor with a golf ball much faster! Lee’s first attempt is more than a pain. very good. “I had a hard time. To the ego.” Payment Tactics: She was the World Champion in 2015, for a total of three times.

“I was worried at first.”

And again, Lee feels she still has to experience something else. Meanwhile, her family moved to Bristol. In September 2017, she tested tennis. Her love at first sight is immediate. Well most. “At first the rules seem a bit strange. It was confusing and frustrating. After the adaptation stage, Lee immediately eases her with discipline that suits her like her gloves.

Adopted Girondin Lea Van Der Zwalmen is one of 50 practitioners from Bordeaux, 10% of whom are women. His goal is to increase the number of people and introduce them to his sport.

Adopted Girondin Lea Van Der Zwalmen is one of 50 practitioners from Bordeaux, 10% of whom are women. His goal is to increase the number of people and introduce them to his sport.

Laurent Theillet / SOUTHWEST

“It’s not the brute force that matters. Tactics and techniques are very important,” she deciphers and shares the joy of placing the ball exactly where it catches the opponent. Four years after her first trial and error, she was imprisoned in Belgium with her parents, and after moving to Bordeaux, she was the third in France with the advice of a friend who praised the quality of Mérignat’s facilities. An excellent player. combine.

Economics graduates working on project management in Bordeaux devote themselves to tennis two hours a day. She adds swimming, boxing, and even mountaineering exercises to get her in shape. “Sports are more than a hobby for me. It’s the driving force. »»

At Fontaine Blow, Lee van der Zwarmen pretends to be the number one challenger in the world, and British woman Claire Fahey defends her fifth title.

At Fontaine Blow, Lee van der Zwarmen pretends to be the number one challenger in the world, and British woman Claire Fahey defends her fifth title.

Laurent Theillet / SOUTHWEST

And to extend his words: “I like competition, but winning isn’t the goal in itself. What I like is how to get there. Lea Van Der Zwalmen is an important sports chess board. Pour the same energy into bringing tennis back to. This is a new challenge she has set herself up at her favorite club, Girondins de Bordeaux. She swear it.