MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Charlie Adams’ career has followed a very consistent progression. As an eighth grader, he went all the way to the state quarterfinals. As a freshman, he went one step further, and made the semifinals.

And last year, as a sophomore, he went one step further again…and won it all.

“I like it, it’s fun,” Adams said.

Indeed, it’s fun to be him these days. In the USTA rankings, he’s the number one 18-and-under player in Minnesota. He’s ranked 49th in the entire country.

“Out of all the kids, you know, there’s a lot of kids that play tennis,” he said. “And to be in the top 50, I’m really proud of that, and my family’s really proud of that.”

But Adams has never been about resting on his success. That’s why there’s always been a progression — one that he’ll have to measure differently this year.

There’s no further to go in the state tournament…so it’s not about being better than his competition, it’s about being better than he used to be.

“A part of my game is a lot of defense. I play a lot of defense,” he said. “And this year, if I’m executing more, and being more aggressive and it’s working out well, then I know that I’ve progressed.”

His coach, Chi-Lang Pham, says he’s already made great strides, and he’s watching his future competition.

Earlier this week, Adams was in Palm Springs, competing in what they call the Easter Bowl — the 18-and-under National Spring Championships. It was his first international tournament, and what he calls the biggest event of his career.

“Every time we get a chance to head out and play a national tournament or international tournament, he sees the very top out there,” Pham said. “And I think just seeing that level motivates him to get back here and work even harder.”

Adams says his goal is to be ranked in the top 10 nationally by the time he reaches college. And speaking of college, he’s planning to attend an Ivy League school.


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