My name is John Morrissey, I am 18 years old and I have been competing on the ITF Junior tour for the last 3 years and recently the ITF Pro tour as well . I first moved away from home when I was 15 years old not knowing what I was getting into nor how long I would end up living away from home .

It has been amazing: I have been predominately living in Belgium and traveling from there to my tournaments . I have travelled to all 5 continents and played countless tournaments . There is certainly nothing better then when you are traveling seeing new places and meeting great new people and winning , though when you aren't getting great results it can also become very lonely .. and you end up wanting just to come home and see your family . It is also very hard for your family as they want to see you too but I have been lucky in that my parents and siblings have been so encouraging and supportive to me .

Traveling as much as I have you get to meet and the know many other junior players as you are competing at all the tournaments together , and I have been very lucky in that I have met some incredible personalities and some amazing friends ! You learn so much about different cultures and even pick up some bits of different languages!! So there is a lot of fun at these tournaments as well as a lot of HARD WORK!!!

I have had the opportunity to play all four grand slams twice and these tournaments will definitely be one of the major highlights of the last few years for me . As a junior player you get to see the Pro's and if your lucky - which I was - you get to hit with them too !! I practiced with Rafael Nadal twice in Roland Garros !! It was unbelievable and I certainly wont forget that  : the speed of his ball, his intensity it is phenomenal  !! An other cool thing about the Grand Slams is that you get to eat with the Pro's at some of them : for example I had dinner at the table beside Federer at the Us Open!!

Another huge highlight so far for me was the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, it was only a small draw of 32 elite players. I played amazing throughout the week -beating the world no 3 at that time (Berretta) and ended up making the quarter finals where I lost to Yuki Bhambri a former world No.1 junior. It was an incredible experience as apart from the amazing tennis side of it there were all kinds of athletes there and in the athletes village the mix was incredible- you could have a 4 foot tall gymnast walking on one side of you and a 7 foot tall basket ball player on the other side !!!

 Just before the start of every season - from about october to december i take 3 months off tournaments and do pre-season training ; This is by far the hardest part of the year!! I Work on my speed/strength/endurance day after day and the only thing that gets me through it is that I know it is going to help me compete harder and better during the next season!!  As I said earlier for the last few years I have been based in Belgium and the fitness trainer there was amazing. So along with his help and the comradery of all the other players doing it along side you it makes it easier and very beneficial!!

My coach Owen Casey has been a great help to me , it was so helpful for me to have someone who was always there for me to call whenever I had any questions about my game or needed any encouragement /advice
 
As I am 18 now I am starting to move onto the the futures tournaments . I got a wild card into the 15 000 futures in FLTC this summer where i got my first point , so I am hoping that when I get back out playing alot of tournaments I will be able to build on that!