Jennifer Lau grew up across the bay in Alameda, started playing tennis at age six, and as a USTA NorCal junior, achieved a top 20 ranking in every age group.
As a student at UC Berkeley, Jennifer captained the club team and was the manager of the women’s varsity team.
Since graduating, Jennifer has been working in finance at Apple and was president of the company’s tennis club.
1.How did you first get into tennis?
My mother (Deborah) has been a USTA NorCal team player and volunteer since the 80s. I loved watching her teams compete and wanted to jump out on the courts with them, so she put me in peewee classes at the Harbor Bay Club when I was six years old and I’ve been hooked ever since.
2. How was your experience at U.C. Berkeley as captain of the club team?
Club tennis allowed the perfect balance of academics and competitive tennis for me. We used the World TeamTennis format, which included co-ed teams, modified scoring, overtime and unique rules that allowed for substitutions. Winning the USTA Tennis On Campus National Championship during my junior year as captain was my most memorable moment. The cherry on top was meeting Billie Jean King during the award ceremony.
3. Can you share some tennis memories or stories?
I fulfilled my childhood dream of being a ball kid at the 2017 KPSF Open in San Francisco. It was such an adrenaline rush being on court with the pros and I enjoyed it so much that I’ve done several other ATP Challenger events in the Bay Area since then. It really is the best seat in the house and brings you as close as you can get to the players, but you definitely have to pay attention or you can get hit by Vasek Pospisil’s serve (speaking from experience 😅).
I also volunteered at the 2018 WTA Finals in Singapore as a member of the player services team. Going behind the scenes of a world-class event and interacting with elite players like Naomi Osaka and Kim Clijsters was an unforgettable experience.
4. You recently joined the Tennis Coalition SF Board of Directors. What inspires you to contribute to public tennis in San Francisco?
I lived in Shanghai, China from 2012-15 and it was very difficult to find courts in the middle of a concrete jungle. It made me realize that I had taken for granted all the beautiful, accessible parks and facilities that we have in the Bay Area. Now as a Noe Valley resident since 2016, I’ve enjoyed building my tennis network as a regular at Golden Gate Park and Dolores Park. As cliché as it may sound, I’m inspired to give back to the sport and community that has given so much to me.
5. What hobbies and interests do you have off the court?
I caught the travel bug as a teenager and have now made it to 65 countries and counting! I even quit my job in 2018 to travel for a year. Highlights included cruising down the Nile, watching the sun set over the Taj Mahal, and trekking through the Himalayas. It’s even better when I can combine my passions and take trips where I can watch a professional tournament in a city that I wanted to visit anyway. My mom and I were on a quest to attend all four Grand Slams and we checked it off the bucket list with the Australian Open in 2019.