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    Sh3GotGame: Sports Rep. Rachel Stuhlmann Becoming A Trailblazer

    Rachel Stuhlmann, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, has made a significant impact on the game of tennis, changing it in ways we see today.

    Interestingly, Rachel is one of triplets. When they were in kindergarten, Rachel and her siblings, Joseph and Hannah, were encouraged by their parents, Doug and Lisa Stuhlmann, to enjoy sports and choose different ones so they wouldn’t compete against each other. Joseph chose ice hockey, Hannah chose gymnastics, and Rachel chose tennis.

    “I’m not exactly sure why I chose tennis, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” Rachel emphasized in her interview with Sh3gotgame.

    During her early tennis development, Rachel crossed paths with Craig Sandvig, recently inducted into the USTA Missouri Valley Hall of Fame. He recognized her potential and became her childhood coach. Sandvig continues to be a mentor in Rachel’s life, and they maintain frequent contact. Rachel excelled in her youth and reached a top 50 national ranking among women tennis players, as reported by This accomplishment held great significance for Rachel, as it aligned with her goals growing up.

    “As a junior player, I aimed to be the best in Missouri,” Rachel expressed. “Looking back, it’s fulfilling to see what I accomplished and how it reflects my dreams during my young athletic years.”

    Rachel Stuhlmann’s Collegiate Career

    She was highly sought after in high school, receiving offers from schools nationwide. With many choices, she had to narrow down her options. Her final schools of interest were LSU, Colorado, Texas Tech, Penn State, and Missouri. One of the most memorable experiences during her junior tennis journey was her official visit to LSU. She warmly remembers attending a football game featuring top college athletes.

    “I have an incredible story from my LSU, the tennis team invited me to attend the LSU vs. Florida football game during Tim Tebow’s time at Florida.” The atmosphere was incredible, and words can’t fully capture the electrifying energy of the game,” she shared.

    However, she ultimately realized that her heart belonged to her home state and the University of Missouri. Being closer to home and representing her native state filled her with immense pride.

    “After coming back home, I realized I’m a homebody at heart and wanted to be near my parents. Columbia is just an hour and a half drive from St. Louis. It simply felt like the perfect fit for me,” she admitted.

    Falling in Love with the Process

    During her time at Mizzou, she quickly realized what it would take to reach the next level. Rachel acknowledges that she wasn’t naturally gifted with athletic ability like some of her peers. However, being tall worked to her advantage, and she learned to utilize it in her matches. To elevate her game, she pushed herself twice as hard in the gym, focusing on footwork and endurance. Rachel poured her heart and soul into her training and developed a true love for the process.

    She expressed, “Throughout my life, I’ve always been self-motivated.”

    Her dedication became evident as her career began to soar. Whether it was in her profession or any activity she pursued, she always strived to be the best. Tennis was no exception.

    Transitioning from Athlete to Journalist

    After college, Stuhlmann took the initiative to create her own website where she could share her ideas and thoughts about tennis. Even though she wasn’t actively playing the sport anymore, her passion and love for tennis continued to drive her. You can find her website and follow her on Instagram at Stuhlmann’s Instagram.

    Rachel Stuhlmann
    Rachel Stuhlmann IG post

    After gaining attention for her articles on her website, Stuhlmann caught the eye of a software company called Courtly. They approached her to host their tennis content show, “The Toss Up.” Although Stuhlmann had limited experience as a media host, she eagerly embraced the opportunity. This experience lasted for a year and became a stepping stone for her career.

    “I embraced many opportunities that came my way. Courtly discovered me through my articles and wanted me to conduct interviews and be an on-camera host for content production,” Rachel explained. “While I was used to being interviewed, not conducting them, it allowed me to enter the media world and played a significant role in shaping my current path.”

    Why was Miami Special to Stuhlmann?

    Over time, Rachel Stuhlmann became familiar with the industry and honed her skills as a journalist. With increasing responsibilities, she grew in confidence and established herself as a respected member of the media in the professional tennis world. Stuhlmann has conducted numerous interviews at ATP and WTA press conferences and on-site at various tournaments. Reflecting on her experience at the 2021 Miami Open, she shared:

    “At the Miami Open in 2021, I had the opportunity to conduct over 50 pre and post-match interviews, which was a lot of work. One of the biggest challenges came right after the championship match when Ash Barty emerged as the winner. I was asked to conduct an interview on the spot without much time for preparation. Usually, I have 20 to 30 minutes to prepare for the interview by reviewing the match, but this time, the media recommended doing the interview right on the court after the last point. It was a challenging moment, but it turned out to be successful and enjoyable. It was a truly special experience for me.”

    The Impact of Tennis on her Life 

    Sports have the power to transform lives in truly inspiring ways. Stuhlmann shares how she had no idea what the future held for her, but she remained dedicated to her passion. The opportunities that arose from her love for tennis changed her life completely. Now, she finds herself in a position to revolutionize the world of tennis.

    One of the most impactful experiences for her was when she took a leap and traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria. Her writing connected so deeply with tennis fans that she received an invitation to meet the President of the Bulgarian Tennis Federation and act as the tournament Ambassador for the 250 ATP Sofia Open. During her time in Bulgaria, she conducted a tennis clinic for local children, delivered a speech at the local college, and contributed extensively to the tournament. This experience opened her eyes and liberated her in many ways.

    “Even though I worked tirelessly throughout the week, the experience was truly incredible and life-changing,” Stulhmann expressed. “The connections I made during that trip have turned into lifelong friendships, and I still maintain regular communication with them. Moreover, the experience played a significant role in propelling my career forward.”

    Rachel Stuhlmann Making a Mark in Tennis

    As a woman in a male-dominated field, Stuhlmann has become a trailblazer, making progress and leaving a lasting impact that will benefit aspiring journalists and women in the future. Her contributions to the game of tennis have brought more recognition to the sport through her engaging content and positive energy. Stuhlmann highlights the unique aspect of tennis where athletes are not required to wear a uniform, yet many players tend to wear similar outfits at tournaments. Interestingly, since she wrote about this, several clothing sponsors have started openly sponsoring top players in today’s game. While the changes may not be revolutionary, there are subtle shifts and influences happening in tennis that Stuhlmann has been at the forefront of, constantly pushing the game forward.

    In conclusion, when asked for advice to those following her path closely or aspiring sports journalists worldwide, Stuhlmann responded:

    “Saying yes to every opportunity maximizes your chances of success, even if you lack experience. Don’t worry about what other journalists or people in your field are doing; stay true to yourself. Lastly, my mom always told my siblings and me, ‘Work hard, do your best, and do it for the glory of God.’ I proudly carry that advice with me.”

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