Carly Briggs: No. 1 in Georgia

Carly Briggs competes in the National Level 2 Tournament in Rome on Monday, May 20.

If you’re a tennis fan, you’ll want to know the name Carly Briggs. Briggs is the No. 1 ranked tennis player in the Junior Division Girls’ 18 group in the state of Georgia, according to the United States Tennis Association’s website.

Briggs is a resident of Calhoun, and has been a part of Calhoun’s tennis team for the past three seasons under the leadership of head coach Robin Proffitt. Briggs said the most important lesson she has learned to this point at Calhoun High School is embracing the team aspect of the game.

“She’s taught me how to work with a team, because the high school team is really the first team I’ve ever been on,” Briggs said. “Playing for a team is more exciting, honestly, for me. Your level of play goes up when you play for a team because you don’t only want to win for yourself, you want to win for your team.”

Briggs also has won four individual national championships, with two of those captured in 2017. She holds an 85-29 record (for both singles and doubles) dating back to July of last year in tournament-style competition.

Two weeks ago, Briggs competed in a tournament in Rome, going an undefeated 5-0. She won in the final 6-3; 6-1.

“My motivation comes from wanting to play college tennis and maybe going professional after that, I’ll try,” Briggs said. “I know I have to work hard to get there.”

Briggs said tennis is a year-round commitment, with conditioning nearly every day. Briggs often travels to Alpharetta, Marietta and Chattanooga to train.

“It takes up a lot of time, but I know it’s what I want to do,” Briggs said. “I love doing it.”

Briggs said her love of the sport stems from her brother, Jake, who also played tennis. Carly participated in her first tournament when she was seven years old.

“I knew when I was little that I wanted to keep playing because I knew older people who played tennis and they went to college for it,” Briggs said. “I wanted to be a student athlete at college.”

Briggs will be getting that opportunity in the fall of 2020. With a full school year still to go, she has already been offered, and accepted, a scholarship to play tennis at the next level. She will be heading north of the state border to Knoxville to begin her collegiate career at the University of Tennessee.

“I visited there and I loved the team, I loved the coaches, I loved the campus,” Briggs said. “I knew it was right (for me).” Briggs said.

Briggs said she was informed of the scholarship offer at the conclusion of her visit to Knoxville.

“I knew that I wanted it right when I got the offer and I immediately accepted it,” Briggs said. “I’m excited to get to compete with a team of that level. I’m excited to get to know the girls on the team.”

Coming off of the heels of the Rome tournament, Briggs is off to Sumter, South Carolina, for the start of the Palmetto Pro Open — Women’s 25K Pro Circuit Event, beginning on June 10.

“This is really the last summer I get to play any tournaments because I’ll be getting ready to go to college,” Briggs said. “The summer is when all the big tournaments are — national clay courts and national hard courts — those are my favorite tournaments to play so I’m excited.”