Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Stolle, Son Form Rare Combination

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Stolle, Son Form Rare Combination

Article excerpt

Tall, lean and sporting a ponytail, and raised with Grand Slam championships dangling from the family tree, Sandon Stolle is a rare breed.

Born in Sydney, Australia, where he now has a home, and raised in North Miami Beach, Fla., where his parents live, he played at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth for two years. His accent is half-American and half-Australian.

The son of Australian great Fred Stolle, Stolle the younger is 100 percent tennis player, one of a mere handful of children of tennis pros ever to compete at the game's top levels. Stolle the elder won 12 grand slam titles, two singles and 10 doubles, during his career.

Pressure? Once upon a time, maybe, but not any more, says Stolle, who will turn 26 six days after Wimbledon ends and yearns for his day in the sun.

"I'm not a rookie any longer," said the wiry, brown-haired Stolle, who turned pro in 1991 and has earned almost $900,000 in a career that is still noted more for false starts than successful finishes.

"I do have standards to live up to, but people judge me now as a person and a player. I'm beyond being Fred Stolle's son. I'm my own man."

But don't get the wrong idea.

"Everyone has a lot of respect for my dad, and so do I. I've grown up with it. I've played with it. It's a bonus," Stolle said. "He's proud of what I've done and I'm proud of him."

Stolle, a serve and volleyer nourished by Wimbledon's grass, says his father, now a tennis commentator, still gives advice "when I slip up."

"Mom and dad never forced me into the game. I was around it and I enjoyed it and they saw I enjoyed it and I played. …

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