When Victor Spolidorio first started playing tennis, he had a plan, and it involved leaving his home country.
“When we were living in Brazil, I told my parents I wanted to come to the States for high school and college,” Spolidorio said.
Caterpillar moved his parents to Central Illinois five years ago, and his dream came true. He starts his senior year at Dunlap High School next month. He has spent most of the summer playing against college players on satellite tennis tours around the country.
“They’ve got a stronger game, better serve, better everything,” he said. “They are faster, a stronger mental game. If you want to be the best, you have to play the best.”
He has come a long way from home and in his tennis game. Spolidorio is trying to win the Tri-County Tennis title in both the boys and the men’s divisions. Not bad for a guy who had to convince his family playing tennis was a better option than playing soccer.
“When I told my family I wanted to play tennis. It was a shocker,” he said. “Grandpa thought I was crazy. My parents said, ‘What are you thinking?'”
Now he’s thinking about earning a college scholarship and pursuing his next life goal: playing in the Olympics, which this year is hosted by his home country.
“I’ve still got a long way to go. I am really far from that,” Spolidorio said. “I have to focus on high school and college. I’d say the Olympics is everyone’s main goal.”