By Joe Klingbeil

Special to The Tuscaloosa News


You can either start a legacy or you can continue one. Alexa Guarachi did both.

The former Alabama tennis player, whose father also played tennis for the Crimson Tide, has made a name for herself in the professional tennis ranks, as she has won 13 doubles titles in her career, and currently is the 183rd ranked doubles player in the Women’s Tennis Association world rankings.

“She probably has one of the best backhands I’ve ever seen,” Alabama coach Jenny Mainz said. “But what I remember about watching her play is she’s happy. She loves tennis.”

In 2017 alone, Guarachi has captured six ITF doubles titles and has shot up the world rankings like a cannon.

“I still have so much more to go,” Guarachi said. “I can be in the top 50 in the world in doubles, it’s very doable, so that’s very exciting and it motivates me even more to know that I can go so much further.”

Guarachi’s road to stardom may be on a steady climb, but was almost curtailed before it even got off the ground. During a match in Waco, Texas, in November of 2015, Guarachi suffered a torn ACL. After surgery in December, she was forced to sit on the sidelines for nearly a year. The recovery process was grueling, and tested her in ways like never before.

“When I first got hurt I wasn’t planning on coming back,” Guarachi said. “I thought that this might be it, it may be a sign I need to just call it quits. I’m going to be out for a year, how can I come back from this?”

But her uplifting personality took control of any doubts that crept into the back of her mind as she prepared for the road to recovery. Eleven months after a near career-ending injury, Guarachi returned to the tennis court. She was finally back home.

“I kind of took a second and was like, ‘Wow I did it, I’m back’,” Guarachi said. “It was just working hard and being positive every day, and also being so close to losing something that I love forever basically, really made me think that I don’t want to lose this yet. I have so much more to give in the sport of tennis.”

Guarachi has cemented her name in Tuscaloosa ground, and now shifts her focus creating a known name across the globe.

“I have no doubt that she is going to be playing for a grand slam pretty soon,” Mainz said. “She was very close this year and I believe she’ll get there.”