Profiles in MHS Sports

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Malibu High junior Skyler Davis practices on the tennis courts at Pepperdine University. Photo by Seth Rubinroit / TMT

This profile on tennis player Skyler Davis is the first piece in a series on the athletes at Malibu High School who will return next season.

When Malibu High School junior Skyler Davis steps onto the tennis court, he is all business. He swiftly and quietly dominates his opponents. His hard work and dedication have made him one of the top high-school tennis players in the country. His success in tournaments as far away as Florida and Chicago have made him a commodity college coaches are lining up to sign.

Off the court, Davis is quick to smile, and his laid-back attitude belies his commitment to excellence.

Davis has plenty of reasons to smile. In May alone, he won the singles division of the Tri-Valley League CIF tennis tournament, as well as the West Coast Junior Open in Lakewood, California.

You recently won the singles division of the Tri-Valley League CIF tennis tournament. What did this accomplishment mean to you?

Winning the Tri-Valley League meant a lot to me. As a freshman, I lost in the finals to my teammate, Daniel Moss, so it was great to win this time.

You also helped lead the Malibu High Sharks to the second round of the team division of the CIF tennis tournament. How much different is it playing with a team versus playing as an individual?

It is much different playing as a team because you win and lose as a team. The entire aspect of being with other kids and playing as a team is a great experience, and is definitely different than playing individually because you have much more support from team members and coaches while you’re playing. I enjoyed playing with my teammates, and under coach Bruce Young.

In 2006 you won the United States Tennis Association Sportsmanship Award for Southern California. What do you do to display proper sportsmanship on the tennis court?

I just act like I usually do. I always treat my opponent fairly, and I call the shots honestly.

You have played and beaten some of the top junior tennis players in the country. What is your proudest tennis accomplishment?

My proudest tennis accomplishment was probably when I broke into the list of the top 250 players in the nation. I was playing in a pretty big national tournament that I was an alternate to get into. My first round opponent was seeded 4th, and ranked around 100 in the nation at the time. This made me think he was out of my league, but I ended up beating him and a bunch of other seeds, and finished the tournament in 3rd place. This helped propel me to 96th in the nation in the 16-year-old age group.

What professional tennis players do you look up to?

Marat Safin, because he has the same type of game and style I do. I enjoy watching him play.

Where does your passion for tennis come from?

When I was around four years old, my grandpa took me out to play tennis. I just fell in love with the game, and I have been playing ever since.

During a typical week, how many hours of tennis do you play?

I usually play around 10 to 15 hours, not including the two or three hours of off-court conditioning. I am currently training with Trey Waltke at the Malibu Racquet Club, and hitting with college players and former tour players.

Other than tennis, what are your interests?

I enjoy hanging out with my friends, surfing and just being a teenager.

For your sophomore year of high school, you attended Weil Tennis Academy, a year-round boarding school for the top junior tennis players in the country. What was it like living in that type of environment?

It was a good tennis environment. You played four hours on the court, and trained for an hour off the court, every day. I enjoyed it for the year I was there, but I decided individual training was better suited for me.

For your junior year of high school, you transferred to Malibu High School. Why did you decide to switch schools?

I decided to switch schools because I was attending Nordhoff High School while I was at the Weil Tennis Academy, and I wanted to come back home and experience the last few years of high school. I had been home schooled since seventh grade.

What are your goals for the upcoming summer and your senior year of high school?

My goals are to raise my ranking in the 18’s division to the top 100 in the nation, and also find a college that’s a good fit. I just won the West Coast Junior Open and beat the top seeds in the tournament, so I am already working hard toward my goals.

Where do you hope to play tennis in college?

I’m really clueless to the exact school I want to go to at this time. I have primarily played tennis outdoors, and when you go east the weather has a great impact on your ability to practice. They spend a large part of the year playing indoors, something that I am not use to. I have been contacted by numerous college coaches from all over the country that have indicated an interest in me playing for their team, so it will be a difficult decision. I plan to visit schools and talk with coaches over the summer.

What are your career goals?

I plan to major in pre-med and then go to medical school. I would like to be either a radiologist or a private practice doctor. As for tennis, I plan to play in college, and will start playing challenger professional level tournaments and see where it takes me.