When your mom is Lindsay Davenport, as is the case for Jagger Leach, you tend to spend some of your summer every year at Wimbledon.
Davenport, a former No. 1 player in the world and three-time Grand Slam singles champion, is an analyst for the Tennis Channel. She’s getting ready for the upcoming Grand Slam, but this summer, Leach won’t be coming with her to London.
Leach gets to stay home in Laguna Beach with his dad, Jon Leach, a former professional tennis player. The reason why is because the younger Leach wanted to compete in his first Southern California Junior Sectional Championships.
“He said he doesn’t want to go to Wimbledon because he wants to stay and play all his tournaments, so my husband and I are letting him this year,” Davenport said. “[My husband has] been very nice. He’s going to stay home with him to give him this opportunity.”
Jon Leach stayed home on Saturday as well, this time to watch his three daughters.
There was a coin flip to determine who stayed home in the afternoon with the girls and who took their son to the 115th annual Southern California Junior Sectionals.
“I won,” Davenport said with a smile.
The largest annual junior tennis tournament in the nation brought back memories for the 41-year-old Davenport. Her mother, Ann, used to take her to this same tournament when Davenport was a kid.
Getting to see her only son make his debut on this stage was special for Davenport. She sat in the shade, next to one of the classroom bungalows at Fountain Valley High, and watched her 10-year-old perform well in the heat.
Jagger Leach easily beat Murrieta’s Owen Pearson 6-1, 6-0 in the round of 32 in the boys’ 10.
“Playing my first Junior Sectionals is pretty cool,” Leach said. “I got my free T-shirt for the Junior Sectionals.”
The sixth-seeded Leach looked almost as excited about the T-shirt as advancing to the round of 16. Leach will play Topanga’s Neel Joshi, the No. 10 seed, at the El Dorado Park Tennis Center in Long Beach on Sunday at 9:30 a.m.
Leach played a half an hour earlier than expected on Saturday. The match ended early, too.
As for advice, Davenport didn’t really need to give her son any. She always tells him to have fun and have a good attitude on the court.
The way his backhand and forehand shots landed in for winners, Leach was enjoying himself.
“I thought that this is like a great opportunity for me to get points and stuff, and it’s fun because I get to play against all the top players in SoCal,” said Leach, adding that he’s mostly been competing in Level 2 and 3 tournaments.
The Level 1 tournament at the Junior Sectionals was one Leach said he couldn’t pass up, even though it meant he wouldn’t be joining his mother and sisters at the All England Club.
“I’ve gone pretty much every year of my life, and my buddies are like telling me about Junior Sectionals and how fun it is, and the Little Mo [international tournament at the Tennis Club in Newport Beach on June 30 to July 4], so this year I decided to stay home,” Leach said. “My dad is awesome [for staying home with me]. He’s pretty much like my coach, and he’s all in for me with the tennis. I’m grateful that he’s staying with me here, because without him, I’d pretty much be home alone with my grandma. She’s pretty mellow with things, but she doesn’t give me like tennis practices like my dad does.”
If Leach continues to win and reach next week’s semifinals of the Junior Sectionals at the Los Caballeros Racquet & Sports Club in Fountain Valley, his mom won’t be there to support him. Davenport said she leaves for Wimbledon next Saturday.
Wimbledon runs from July 3 to 16. During the first couple of days of Wimbledon, Leach will be busy competing in the fourth annual Little Mo Internationals.
“After a match or something, I’ll go home and sit on the couch and watch some Wimbledon,” said Leach, who will no doubt also look for his mother’s expert analysis on the matches.