The new rising star of the WTA Tour, the girl who has a full, Sampras-like serve and proves that the Serena effect in American tennis will live on, is twenty-two-year-old Alycia Parks.
Alycia Marlene Parks was born on 31th December 2000 in Atlanta, Georgia in a family of Michael and Erica Parks. She has older sister, Mikayla, who also played tennis for a while. Alycia began playing tennis in elementary school and dreamed of becoming a professional tennis player at the age of seven. Her father immediately recognized her talent and started coaching her to fulfill her dream.
When she was eight years old was noticed by Serena Williams.
“Serena called me, she was saying positive things and telling me to stick with it. Now that I’m here, I’m sure she’s proud.” said Alycia in an interview when she was turning pro.
During her junior years, she played only eight junior events on the ITF circuit and did not have a junior ranking. After graduation from high school in 2019, she declined several college scholarships offers, in order to pursue professional tennis. Her favorite tennis surface is hard court and her tennis idols are Williams sisters.
“I pattern myself after Serena because of her serve, but I also like Venus’ movement,” said Parks. Alycia has a design line called “Alycia Mikay” that offers athletic wear, created by her mother and sister.
Who is Alycia Parks’s coach in 2023?
Since her childhood, Alycia has been coach by her father, Michael Parks.
Michael Parks is former basketball player who got mindful that his daughter has ability and future in a tennis when he first saw her playing.
He is the one to blame that Alycia fell in love with tennis and made the decision to play professionally. She didn’t have noticeable junior career, but despite that, she decided to turn pro in 2019.
Under her father mentorship, in season 2020 Alycia won two ITF titles in Orlando, both in singles and doubles. During next season, she made her WTA and Grand Slam main-draw debut.
At the US Open, with 129mph fast bomb, she tied the Venus Williams’ record for the fastest serve by a woman that the tournament had ever recorded.
“The serve comes very natural for me. I want to thank my dad because he’s the one who taught me. He always gave me a rhythm, kind of like dance, one-two. So that always stuck in the back of my mind.” said Alycia.
Previous season was very successful for Alycia. She won two ITF titles playing in doubles, than four Challenger titles (two singles, two doubles) and after that, almost at the end of the season, at the Ostrava Open she won her maiden WTA Tour title, partnering Caty McNally.
“I came out here not expecting anything, just playing my game, and it got me the title. I was coming from clay courts in Parma last week, and everyone said, ‘How are you going to switch surfaces like that?’ But surfaces don’t really affect me. Indoor hard is my strength.” said Alycia.
These results led her to her career-best ranking at that moment, of no.75 in singles and no.60 in doubles. Start of season 2023 brought new joys to her and her fans.
At the beginning of February, at the Lyon Open she claim her maiden WTA title, after defeating top seed Carolina Garcia, recording her first top-5 win. As a result, on the latest WTA list she climbed to a new career-high in singles, of World no.51.
“It feels amazing to hold my first WTA tour-level championship trophy,” Parks said, quoted by the WTA Tour. “Words can’t explain. Just last year, I was in an ITF Challenger $60,000 final, and now I have won a WTA 250.”
After the great success in Lyon, she went to play at Linz Open but was defeated in the first round by Anhelina Kalinina.
Former Alycia Parks’ coaches
When she was ten years old, Alycia had a few training sessions with coach Rick Macci at his Academy in Boca Raton, Florida.
Rick Macci was born 7th December 1954 in Greenville, Ohio. After Greenville Senior High School graduation, he went to Wright State University where was ranked as the top tennis player in Ohio.
In 1985 he started the Rick Macci International Tennis Academy and over the course of his career he coached many tennis players, including five number one ranked players: Williams sisters, Maria Sharapova, Jennifer Capriati and Andy Roddick.
He is seven-time USPTA national coach of the year and in 2017 was inducted into the USPTA Hall of Fame, which made him youngest ever to achieve such an honor.
Macci has an excellent track record with young tennis prospect and while coaching Alycia, he was teaching the young player some tennis basics, especially body positioning while taking serve.
When Alycia won her first WTA title at Lyon Open, he proudly posted a video of him coaching her at his Academy and commented:
“Venus, Serena, Roddick, and now Parks…all have one thing in common, childhood Coach Rick Macci.”
Later, in an interview about his former trainee, he said “I saw her serve and got goose bumps. It’s a thing of beauty, beautiful motion, easy power. One day she will win Grand Slam for sure.”
Alycia Parks’s achievements with different coaches
We have collected in the table the data about the trophies won by Alycia Parks’s under the guidance of various coaches.
|Coaches||Years of Completion||Titles|
|Michael Parks||2007 – ongoing||2023 Lyon Open, WTA
2022 Ostrava Open (doubles), WTA
2022 Andorra Open, Challenger
2022 Angers Open, Challenger
2022 Midland Classic (doubles), Challenger
2022 Angers Open (doubles), Challenger
2022 Charleston Pro (doubles), ITF
2022 Bendigo International (doubles), ITF
2020 Orlando Open (doubles), ITF
2020 Orlando Open, ITF