Jamie Hampton, a Birmingham, Alabama native who used to drive five hours a day to train at the Racquet Club of the South, has made it through to the second round of the Australian Open in Melbourne. Hampton notched her first career grand slam win against Mandy Minella on Tuesday. No unforced errors on her part allowed her to wrap up the match 1 and 1.
“I’m from the South, and it’s really hot there, so the heat doesn’t bother me”, she said, undeterred by blistering and blustery conditions in the mid-90s.
2012 will be her second full year on the tour and Hampton, like any other similarly situated player, wants to crack the top 100 soon.
She also discussed her state of health. “When I went over to Stuttgart for Fed Cup, I found out that I was anemic.” Though it came as a surprise, the treatment has not interfered with her training. “Eat a little bit of red meat now and then, take an iron pill”, she said.
That red meat will not include kangaroo. “That might be pushing it. Being from the South, my dad likes to hunt occasionally. When it was my turn to go out there, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t shoot. So, it’s hard to think there’s a cute little kangaroo on my plate.
Hampton plays Maria Sharapova tomorrow. “This is one of the four biggest tennis stages of the world. This is what we all play for.”
Craig Gabriel, who most of us Yanks know for his hilarity on Australian Open radio, conducted the interview as a special correspondent for USTA.com. The link to the full video is found below.