Off The Court, KK & Gugu
Meet KK and GuGu:
We both graduated from the University of Southern California where went spent 2.5 years on the same team together. Gugu graduated with a degree in International relations while I earned my degree in Sociology. I had a long-term partnership with my fellow teammate, Sabrina Santamaria, and it wasn’t until my senior year when Sabrina tore her ACL that I had the opportunity to pair up with Gugu for ONE tournament. We finished the year playing the PAC-12 event in Ojai, California together and won the title despite never have played together before.
I graduated from USC and continued on to the pro tour and played with numerous partners, some from my collegiate career and some who skipped college and went straight onto the tour. It wasn’t until earlier this summer that Gugu and I paired up together again at the $25,000 in Sumter, South Carolina where for the second time playing together we took the title. After our win there we split up to play a different schedule and played with other partners.
Three weeks ago we went on to play the WTA in Quebec City and earned our first win at a WTA tournament together and followed it up with a final at a $100,000 in Tampico, Mexico, and then a winner’s trophy at the $60,000 in Templeton, California. After these three weeks, Gugu and I plan to travel together and play the same tournaments for the rest of the year, but will, unfortunately, be playing with different partners. We don’t want to ruin our record of 2 losses in tournament play J. But we are eager to get our rankings into the top 100 and look forward to pairing with each other sometime in the future.
There is no better feeling then having the opportunity to pursue your dream and play the sport you love with people you are best friends with. Especially in doubles, where chemistry with your partner is so important. The better you know and understand them, the better you can stack up your strengths together and protect your weaknesses. And the more in-tune you are with realizing their mood and energy swings, the better you can understand what energy level you need to bring to the table. Specifically, when Gugu’s energy level drops, we go straight to the Nutella jar and she’s up and ready to go within minutes. We are also very fortunate to live so close to each other in LA and are able to practice doubles with each other whenever we are home. That’s a big advantage that a lot of doubles teams don’t have because sometimes they live in different continents or different states!
Outside the court, the fun continues. Everywhere we go we make a point of visiting some of the local attractions as well as and most importantly sampling from the best local cuisine spots. We are both foodies and LOVE trying new genres of food as well as hitting up the nearest dessert spot. We know how fortunate we are to be able to play tennis and travel the world and want to make the best of each place we travel to. We may not have the opportunity to go to some of these places again, so when we are there, we make sure to indulge in every experience we can and really take in the culture. You can learn something from every place you visit, and observing and understanding how other people live and what their cultures entail will better educate you as a person and make you realize how fortunate you really are.
Next up for us is the WTA in Thailand. After that, you can catch us in Taiwan, India, and Dubai to finish the year.
You can find us on social media at:
Until next time!
Gu^2 + K^2