Super Tennis Siblings


The tennis court behind the Ancona’s rural Belvidere home is where you’ll find brothers Brandon and Justin Ancona. It’s been that way for a long time.

“I’ve been playing pretty much my whole life,” says Brandon. “I think I probably had a racquet in my hand when I was three years old.”

This week Brandon is one of the top singles seeds in the IHSA State Tournament. His record is 33-0 this season. He’s coming off a Sectional championship last weekend at Harlem. He won it despite having to serve underhand much of the time because of an abdominal injury.

“It’s hard to be serving underhand now. I’d love to have my overhand serve, but I’ve just got to do with everything that I have, and I’ll just do the best I can.”

 Brandon has been to State all four years of high school. Last year he finished in the top 24. He’s aiming much higher this year.

“I’m really hoping for big things this weekend.”

Then there’s older brother Justin, a junior at Wheaton College. He was recently named the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Player Of The Year. Thursday he’ll begin play in the NCAA Division III National Tournament in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

“I’m happy to be in the tournament and I hope to win a couple rounds,” says Justin Ancona. “I’m playing really well right now. It’s helped a lot coming home and playing with Brandon one of the top players in the state.”

“It’s really nice having my brother home from college and being able to practice with him,” says Brandon.

“Our games are quite different,” says Justin. “He’s more of a big, aggressive player, and I’m more of a steady baseline, consistent guy who is trying to out-grind the opponent. That’s more my game style whereas he’s hitting that big forehand trying to get winners here and there.”

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