Submitted to the Optic
CHICAGO — Everyone knows that the Fulgenzis are New Mexico’s first family when it comes to tennis.
They literally grew up on the hardcourts against each other. Watching. Playing. Competing. Coaching. They all learned early the importance of game plans and that teamwork wins championships.
Once again they earned what no other family in America can conceivably claim — four “Gold Balls” in one weekend at the United States Tennis Association Father-Daughter, Mother-Son, National Indoor Championships March 15-17 in Barrington, Ill.
It is the pinnacle for family mixed doubles and a feat not known to have been matched by another American family. Stacy Fulgenzi and her 14-year-old son Warren Jr. won the Mother-Son championship on Sunday, beating the local favorites Karl and Dena Morgan of Barrington, by the score of 2-6, 6-2, 6-0.
“I was really worried that my mom’s shoulder would give out since she’s been hurt the last few months,” said Warren Jr. “But it turned out to be better than okay.”
On Sunday, the pressure was on for Warren Sr. and 13-year-old daughter Brandelyn, who went on to defeat the top-seeded team, and the country’s No. 1 ranked Father-Daughter team of Jerry and Becky Morse-Karsen of Chicago, 6-2, 6-4.
This came after Team Fulgenzi defeated No. 2 seed and the reigning clay court champions, Gerrit and Shere Disbergen of Florida, 6-2, 6-4, in the semifinals.
“I knew going in that my dad brings his ‘A’ game and that they would try and pick on me” said Brandelyn. “I knew I had to step up.”
The Fulgenzi family now has a total of eight “Gold Balls” considered to be the ultimate prize in American amateur tennis.