Shelby Rogers at the Australian Open in January 2017
Charisma alone hasn’t powered the 24-year-old Mount Pleasant native to the elite limelight of women’s professional tennis. Her unrelenting competitive instinct and fierce work ethic have.
A wild card in the French Open last summer, Rogers made her way to the quarterfinals, losing to overall singles winner Garbiñe Muguruza. “The biggest thing I took away from that was just that I can compete with the top players in the world, and I’m good enough,” she said during a post-match press conference at the Australian Open. “Little things here and there I need to work on, but I’m here. I need to believe in myself.”
“Improving my fitness and strength has been key to staying healthy and injury-free,” says Rogers, who works out with trainers at Impact Sports Performance when home in Florida and trains with her coach, Marc Lucero, when in L.A. That can mean two hours in the gym, followed by five hours on the court. “Winning for me is seeing all that hard work pay off, and knowing that I’ve put my heart and soul into the sport.”
A birthday collage for her mom, Starley, “the strongest woman I know!”
In Moscow at St. Basil’s Cathedral
“Fought back and got the win over Errani...” (first round of the 2016 US Open)
Practicing in pigtails
Playing with legends Venus Williams, John McEnroe, and Pete Sampras at The Greenbrier
At the WTA White Party in Acapulco
At the Fed Cup with Team USA in February
in a campaign for ASICS
During her French Open on-court interview with Marion Bartoli after her win into the quarterfinals, Rogers tearfully said, “I always dreamed it would happen, but I’m not sure I thought I could.”
“It was evident early on, I remember watching Shelby just crack a backhand when she was like nine years old and realizing, ‘Wow, hey, this kid has something really special.’” —Bryan Minton, Rogers’s former coach
In 2001, as an eight-year-old ball crew member, Rogers was chosen to hand a bouquet to 2001 Family Circle Cup champion Jennifer Capriati.