Deaf tennis pro, teacher Jenny Woyahn among top players worldwide, competes in Deaflympics

Most tennis players rarely think about the sounds from the ball, but for top deaf tennis player Jenny Woyahn, it is a significant part of the game.
October 27, 2013 7:12:17 AM PDT
For many, tennis is a sport that requires good eye-hand coordination and the ability to swing, move quickly and to hear the sounds of tennis balls hitting the racket.

Most tennis players rarely think about the sounds from the ball, but for a top deaf tennis player, it is a significant part of the game.

At Midtown Athletic Club in Palatine, tennis pro Jenny Woyahn, 20, teaches tennis.

"I am a junior director. I teach a lot of juniors ages anywhere between 3 to 4 years old all the way up. I teach some adults as well," Jenny said.

Jenny was born with a hearing loss.

"I have an 80 percent loss in high-pitch sound. I'm 70 percent on my right ear and 72 on my left ear, " she said. "But I do have high-pitch sounds is very difficult for me to hear without my hearing aids."

Deaf and hard-of-hearing players do have some challenges -- like not hearing how hard balls hits the rackets and also drop shots.

"If you thinking about a drop shot, which is a short little ball over the net, I can't hear the difference between a drop shot and just a regular ground stroke. So, I have to look at the racket...if the racket hear is high, it's probably going to be short," said Jenny.

Jenny is ranked number 10 out of 40 top deaf tennis players in world. This past summer, she played on Team USA during the Deaflympics, which was held in Sofia Bulgaria.

"I lost in the first round in both singles and doubles, but I had a really good time. My teammates have done very well. We had a couple girls that got gold medals in the women's double and silver in the mixed doubles," she said.

"What's next for me is just really continue to grow the tennis program here at Midtown, try to make it to the next level world class tennis. That's really what I'm looking at," said Jenny.

To learn more about Midtown Athletic Club in Palatine and Jenny's tennis classes go to www.deaflympics.com and www.midtown.com.


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