Wilson Lambeth explains his tennis success: ‘Just Relax’


Wilson Lambeth. photo by Allison Wolff

One might see the 6’5″ Wilson Lambeth in passing and think he must be a basketball player or a wide receiver. However, Lambeth is a member of the No. 16 Trinity men’s tennis team, has been named SCAC player of the week for three consecutive weeks, and is currently on a 6 win streak.

While Lambeth is currently excelling on the court, this was not always the case. Lambeth started the season with 10 straight losses.

“My tennis season had a bumpy and unexpected start. My expectation was to be the number one and kill it, but I suffered a prolonged period of losing, so my coach moved me down in the lineup. This ignited a fire in me and motivated me to do better,” Lambeth said.

Since being bumped down in the lineup, Lambeth has been on fire. He’s won 9 of 11 singles matches and all 11 of his doubles matches with partner Jordan Pitts since March 12. 

“The loses really made me get my act together and fired me up to play well,” Lambeth said.

Lambeth credits his new success to being able to loosen up.

“Honestly, I feel like I was taking tennis way too seriously. It made me stress and get tight,” Lambeth said. “I feel that I play best when I am relaxed and just focusing on having fun. Essentially, I reverted back to the mentality that made me fall in love with the sport, and that was to just go out there have fun and enjoy myself.”

Lambeth spends plenty of time on the tennis courts — and the basketball courts, too.

“Honestly, I play a lot of pick-up hoops. My coach doesn’t like this, but it’s something I love to do,” Lambeth said.

On the weekends, Lambeth enjoys hanging out with his friends. He says that most mornings, he gets up, eats breakfast and then plays a few hours of Fortnite, a popular videogame.

“What I like to do is play Fortnite and kick it with the boys. One of my favorite slogans is ‘FTB’ or ‘For the Boys,’ ” Lambeth said. “I think it’s good for my mental health, and improves my tennis by allowing me to decompress.”

Lambeth also enjoys his routine Thursday night outings with the boys. Lambeth sees Thursday nights as essential to the college experience.

“You know, you only get to go to college once, so you got to make the most out of it,” Lambeth said.

Like all college athletes, Lambeth must also juggle academics with athletics and a social life.

“In order to play tennis you gotta make the grades. Also, it’s an expectation from myself and my parents,” Lambeth said. “Trinity is a freaking hard place, much harder than what my friends at other schools have to deal with. Yeah, it sucks, not only for me but for all the people that go here, but it’ll be worth it at the end of the day, hopefully.”

Lambeth also reflected on his post-grad goals, when competitive tennis may not be feasible.

“Tennis is not everything, eventually you have to stop because it is basically impossible to go pro. Post-college, I want to pursue a career in finance and hopefully start a family,” Lambeth said.

While Lambeth has been dominating in the last couple weeks, his aspirations dont stop there.

“I do wish I was a little bigger,” Lambeth said.