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Originally published Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 5:39 PM

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Five questions with Interlake junior Conner Garnett, a two-time state tennis champion

Garnett started playing tennis when he was five, and has a 2A and 3A singles title under his belt.

Special to The Seattle Times

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Five questions with Interlake tennis player Connor Garnett, a junior, who won state titles in singles in Class 3A as a sophomore and in 2A as a freshman:

Q: What’s your most memorable athletic moment so far, and did it come in tennis?

A: “That was when I played my first tournament and I did pretty well in it. It was just fun, and I knew I loved tennis. I think I was 10. I just remember it was at Amy Yee (Tennis Center), and I had a long match and I came out on top 7-6 in the second set and won it. It was just really fun.”

Q: Got a tennis hero, and what do you like about them?

A: “I like (Jo-Wilfried) Tsonga. Out on the court, he’s just so explosive. I just like his game style.”

Q: When did you start playing tennis and why?

A: “I probably started playing when I was around 5, just for fun and my Dad (Dale) got me into it. He played in high school. It took me five years to beat him. He took it pretty well. I was more emotional than him when I played him.”

Q: Is there one inspirational quote that really speaks to you and that you’ve built your athletic career behind?

A: “I like the quote, ‘No pain, no gain.’ I love working hard, even in fitness. As I’ve gotten older and older, the fitness has been key for me. It’s helped me play better. I train with a personal fitness guy twice a week during the school year.”

Q: Do you have any career goals in tennis, and is being 5-foot-8, 140 pounds an obstacle?

A: “I would like to play at a D-I school in college, and depending on how I do there, see if I can make it on the pro scene. I feel like my stroke is pretty solid, but there’s obviously guys who can out-hit me. I like to play more of a strategic game as opposed to outright power. I prefer consistency.”

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