HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Rachael Sweatt is 22 and has been the number one tennis player in the 4.0 tier of USTA (United States Tennis Association), not just in Arkansas, but in the nine-state southern district of the USTA. Thing is, she’s this good while dealing with autism.
Her coaches say she has issues dealing with social situations and sudden changes in her environment. But tennis has been a way for her to escape and to also grow.
She practices every chance she gets and likes to run her opponents around to wear them down.
In USTA, players are graded by their tournament positions and they tier them in half-point increments. Sweatt has been the #1 4.0 player in the USTA Southern District for three years straight. She is also the #1 female Special Olympics player as well.
This past year she won the Special Olympics title and in April will compete in the USTA National Championships, which will be her last 4.0 tournament, as she has been bumped up to the 4.5 division.