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Local Tennis Star Signs With Bates College

Natick native Pierre-Edouard Planche is this week's Natick Patch Whiz Kid.

Pierre-Edouard Planche may be in the middle of a gap year after graduating early from Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill, but the Natick native is arguably as busy as he’s ever been.

In addition to enrolling in intensive Spanish and French language programs at the International School of Boston in Cambridge, the local tennis standout also recently signed a letter of intent to compete on the Men’s tennis team at Bates College this fall.

“I had my mind setting on playing at a Division I school originally, but after looking at Bates (a Division III school), I realized that the level of play in the NESCAP division that they compete in is just as high,” said Planche. “I really connected with the coach as well and also thought their academics were at a very high level.”

Planche was introduced to tennis by his parents at a very early age and his talent was quickly evident. At the age of 10, he competed in the Little Mo Championships in Chicago, widely considered to be the biggest 10-and-under junior event in the country.

His tennis training has been intense ever since then, with training sessions taking place several days a week at Bosse Sports Club in Wayland with his coach, Shawn Zemenick.

“We’ve been working a lot on my doubles game lately and I’ve started to have some good results in that,” said Planche.

As the star player on the Boys tennis team at Beaver Country Day School, he was the team MVP for all four years and the league MVP during his junior and senior year. Although the level of play in high school tennis is often lower than in USTA tournaments, Planche said there was still a lot to be gained from playing on the team.

“I really love being part of a team,” said Planche. “It felt like not playing would have been letting my friends and the school down, so it was important for me. Even if some of the matches ended up being easier, I could still use it as an opportunity to work on different areas of my game.”

Although he has still been practicing regularly since graduating early, Planche admitted much of his focus has shifted towards the language courses he is currently enrolled in. Born in Switzerland, Planche said he felt particularly strongly about the French program and its importance.

“I took Spanish all throughout high school and wanted to continue with that, but it was particularly important for me to try and retain my french since I was only looking at American universities,” said Planche. “I knew that if I didn’t continue to speak it, I would eventually lose that ability.”

Although Planche is currently recovering from a back injury, he said that he hopes to enter some Men’s Open tennis tournaments later this year.

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