Professional tennis player Madison Brengle is Delaware’s biggest tennis star and the youngest person ever to be inducted into the Delaware Tennis Hall of Fame. The Dover native reached the US Open in 2014 and the fourth round of the 2015 Australian Open and a career high WTA ranking of 35. And in her world-wide travels Madison enjoys “taking a little bit of Delaware out into the world with me.”
At the Delaware Tennis Foundation’s Hall of Fame dinner on November 13th, Brengle had a long list of people to thank who have helped her achieve her incredible professional success. Here are her remarks from that evening.
I first would like to thank coach Dave Marshall for the kind introduction. I can’t thank him enough for the unwavering support he’s shown me throughout my entire tennis career. Coming up through Juniors, if I needed a match, there was never a day, even in the busiest full summer swing, he wouldn’t get me set up with a great match.
And now, I’m at a different point in my career, and his support and confidence in me hasn’t wavered for a second. So thank you again Dave. It means a lot to me how much you’ve done for me and Delaware tennis over the years.
Another person who has done incredible things for Delaware tennis and, as I’m painfully aware, for my tennis, is my mother Gaby, who despite what she says about my desire to play tennis, at the decision-making age of TWO, is the reason I got into tennis and have been able to have the career I’ve had.
The work my parents have put into the Delaware tennis community in the last 20 years is nothing short of amazing. I grew up practicing with some absolutely incredible people who took valuable time out of their day, after work to come out and practice with a little girl. But not one of those amazing people ever took it easy on me despite the fact that I could barely see over the net. I can’t express how important that was to me growing up. It kept reinforcing the belief that I was good enough, and everyone wanted me to keep getting better.
And now thanks to the incredibly hard work of people like Dave and my parents, there is a thriving competitive junior tennis community all pushing each other to get better. It would make me so happy if more players could follow in my footsteps and continue the growth of high level tennis in Delaware, because I definitely feel a sense of pride and responsibility when I go on court at a tournament that I’m not just playing for myself but that I’m representing this state and the incredible tennis community that has never stopped supporting me.
Often life on tour seems like taking a little bit of Delaware out into the world with me. When I was having a good run in the Australian Open recently, I enjoyed hearing my name while I was having my post match dinner. Mary Carillo announced on TV, “Also, advancing was Madison Brengle from Dover, Delaware….Dover, Delaware?” Then there was the time that I had my Delaware driver’s license confiscated by the doorman at a pub because he was very certain that Dover, Delaware wasn’t a real place.
And you learn so much about the world on tour. Last month, as the Beijing tournament driver was taking me to the hotel he needed to confirm my name for the transportation desk. He came to a full stop , put the car in park and handed me the phone in an area of Beijing traffic that was a combination of the DC beltway and Mad Max Fury Road creating an explosion of near misses and frantic horn blowing. My brother is fluent in Mandarin and I’m going to have him teach me the words for, “It can wait until we get there!”
I’m very honored to be able to stand up here with my fellow inductees and I’d like to thank everyone who came out tonight to commemorate this year’s class. If I had one message I would like the attendees to take with them, it would be to keep playing tennis as much as you can. Play with those younger than you and older than you. Play against opponents stronger than you and weaker than you. Play the big hitter and the counterpuncher.
And take some time to play the six-year-old girl who needed to hit with someone other than her Mother because you’ll never know where it could lead her or how much happiness it would give her.
So, again thanks to everyone who supported me at all the phases of my career, and I hope I can continue to represent my state and my sport in a manner that makes all of you proud and can inspire more to follow me into this sport that has given me so much. THANK YOU.