A Perfect Match

Antonio Ausbon (ABC7)

Five years ago, tennis and Antonio Ausbon did not mix.

"I said this is a sissy sport," Ausbon said. "I didn’t want to play this."

That assessment quickly changed with a little help from the Washington Tennis and Education Foundation.

"I fell in love with the family here at the WTEF center," said Ausbon. "They make sure everything is perfect, off and on the court."

The Washington, D.C. native arrived at the southeast campus hurting. When he was 8 years old, his older brother was shot and killed. A year later, his mother died from heart issues.

"It really saved my life because they said you don’t want to be out here on these streets, tennis will take you a long way," Ausbon said. "When I first started, I didn’t believe them. I was like I’m just here to play, but now that I’m getting older I realize this will take you far."

Antonio is just one of many success stories at the WTEF. It's an organization that gives under served kids a safe environment where they can excel.

"There’s a lot pulling on him in this area because if you are not with them then you are kind of against them," said WTEF program director Willis Thomas. "To come through all of that I think it’s a great thing."

Now Antonio is using that 'sissy' sport of tennis as a vehicle towards success.

"I chose to go down the straight path and to succeed my goal," said Ausbon. "And that’s to get out of this terrible neighborhood."

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