DESTIN, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - 2019 was a career year for Destin native Alexa Guarachi.
Ranked 59th in the WTA doubles rankings (one spot shy of a career high set less than one month ago), the South Walton and Alabama alumnae qualified for all four Grand Slams and advanced to the third round of the US Open.
She's been all over the world, but while she's home for the holidays, Guarachi hopes to continue growing as a player and grow the sport.
Taking center court Sunday at Destin Tennis Club with fitness coach Ashley Cooper and tennis coach Craig Biel, Guarachi held and an open workout for fans and young players.
"I kind of wish I had this growing up," Guarachi said. "I think it's really great for the kids to see what it takes, every day how hard you have to work, your warm up and your practice, and how serious you take it. Even the great high school players around this area when I was little, I looked up to so much."
Growing up, she had to look up to local high schoolers, as all professionals hailed from far beyond the regional confines. Now kids nearby have a world class athlete from their town who's gone head to head with the likes of Serena Williams and Andy Murray and Wimbledon.
"It's obviously an honor and I hope that I can inspire kids because I think tennis is such a great sport," Guarachi continued. "It's done so much for me. It's so great. It's a lifelong sport and I hope that a lot of kids can see that and learn to play and take it seriously."
Guarachi returns to professional play in January with a tournament in New Zealand followed by the Australian Open.