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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Devin Chypyha: Tennis is family

Stan Liu/Arizona Athletics
Senior Devin Chypha swings at the ball during a match against Boise State Jan. 26.

Family is an amazing thing. It has the ability to inspire, encourage and to sustain. On the flip side of the coin, family reveals who you really are, and what you are made of. 

Devin Chypyha and her family know that all too well. Her family includes her longtime coach, who is her father, and also her longest standing competitor — her older sister — who also happens to be her biggest supporter and oldest friend.

Chypyha, who hails from Toronto, is doing what was always expected of her in the first place; she’s not only the No. 1 player for a Pac-12 women’s team, but she is its multi-faceted leader and the heartbeat of everything her team stands for. 

Chypyha has been preparing for a leadership role for years, starting with her father and her childhood coach.

“My dad wanted us to play sports that we could play for the rest of our lives, so I have played tennis and golf since I could practically stand. Then it just kind of turned into this over the years,” Chypyha said.

That was only the beginning of what would become a family pastime. As Devin and her sister grew older, their love for tennis grew, and the love and connection with their father grew as well.

“When I was 10 or 11, he actually quit his job so he could train me and my sister full time, and my sister went on to play at the University of Wisconsin,” Chypyha said. “We just got to travel the world, my dad and my sister and I, and we went to a lot of countries in Central and South America.”

Chypyha said she’s aware and appreciative of that time. 

“It was really nice to be able to spend that quality time with him, when a lot of kids or parents don’t usually get that much time to do so, and he was a great coach,” Chypyha said. “He was tough on me, but it only prepared me for here [Arizona] because none of the coaches here take it easy on you.”

As the coaching continued, and the success followed, it wasn’t all a stroll in the park, as Chypyha and her father searched for the right balance of coach and dad.

“As time went by, and I got older, I kind of got sick of it, and I would get frustrated because it felt like all we would talk about was tennis, even at the dinner table,” Chypyha said. “And towards the end, I tried to limit it to just the court, or in the car, but it all turned out completely fine.”

When it came to choosing a college, family was a major factor as Chypyha aimed to spread her wings and fly south to the desert.

“I went on three visits. I went to Minnesota, which would have been bad because they are rivals with Wisconsin and I didn’t want to have to go through that with my sister since we overlap by two years, and I also looked at Penn State.”

Chypyha said it was an obvious choice. 

“Here at Arizona you can play outdoor tennis year-round, we have great facilities, and you also get to play in the Pac-12 conference and there’s nothing better than that,” Chypyha said.

As Chypyha carves out her own career and legacy at Arizona, her family isn’t far away, as she said she carries them with her. 

Whether through the fight and mental toughness she exudes through the hours of practice, the years of playing her older sister or the way she leads her youthful team to new heights, Chypyha continues to lead and exceed just as she always has.

Follow David Skinner on Twitter

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