Madison Brengle will start the Women’s Tennis Association 2017 season in Australia this month ranked 75th in the world in women’s singles. The 26-year-old had just wrapped up the 2016 season and was visiting her family in Dover in mid-November when she took a few minutes to talk about her career and her new puppy.
DT: So, you’re back in Delaware.
MB: I came home last weekend because my family got a new puppy and I really wanted to be here when the puppy came home. It’s a Komondor. They’re the giant white ones with the dreadlocks. They just look like giant cotton balls at this point, but they will get the dreads. He’s 10 weeks. His name is Steely.
DT: Where were you before you came home?
MB: My last tournament was in Luxembourg and then I went back to my house in Florida for a couple days. And then I drove up here. I’m in Bradenton. I train at IMG Academy.
DT: How do you feel about your career so far?
MB: It’s definitely been a journey. The last two years I’ve had more success at the bigger tournaments. It’s good. It kind of makes your schedule a little easier when you know what you’re getting into with a little bit better ranking. And we get to play some really cool events. It’s all been a process from coming through juniors to the Challenger circuit and now playing on the WTA. It’s been an interesting journey, but I have enjoyed it.
DT: Did you always want to be a professional tennis player?
MB: Yes. In kindergarten they had a career day and you had to dress like what you wanted to be. I came in as a tennis player. The trendy thing to be at that time: There were five or six kids who dressed up as a dolphin trainer. It was pretty bizarre what some of the kids dressed up as. I was the only tennis player, and I actually got it right.
DT: I’ve always admired people who set out to do something and accomplish it. And it’s not like becoming a professional tennis player is easy.
MB: I’m really proud of my career that I’ve had so far and hopefully I can continue. But it’s not just me. There was a lot of support and work put in by a lot of other people. My name is on the draw, but you feel like you’re representing a lot more than yourself.
DT: Is playing still fun for you?
MB: Yeah. Definitely. It’s not always fun. Obviously you have some days when you’re not feeling 100 percent and the idea of going out and doing fitness doesn’t appeal. But nobody is 100 percent in love with their job every single day. Overall, I realize how lucky I am with what I get to do and I get to be outside and travel to these really cool places. I’ve had a very cool life the last 10 years.
DT: What’s your biggest accomplishment so far?
MB: I had a really good run in Australia last year and I did well there this year. But for me, probably the 2014 U.S. Open when I won my first main draw match at a slam. That was kind of a turning point for me in my career. I had lost a couple first rounds in slams. I had never won a main draw match in a slam. So to get over that hurdle was a very big deal.
DT: How often do you get back to Delaware?
MB: Very infrequently. I think now that we have the puppy, I am going to be making more stops back here because he is just so cute. Right now, there’s nothing I have to do until I get back and start doing my off-season training. Then I’m on a little bit more of a set schedule.