A few weeks ago, fellow SB Nation writer Seth Rosenthal noted to me that one of the competitors in the U.S. Open junior girls singles competition was a quite awesomely named 15-year-old, Tornado Alicia Black. We soon found out that she had a tennis-playing sister named Hurricane Tyra Black.
We thought this was awesome. Dual-named storm sisters, dominating the world of tennis? As an enthusiast in the department of sporting names, I was awestruck.
However, it turns out we were duped by the Blacks' parents, both tennis players, who planned ahead for a life of fame for their youngsters. From (a very well-done) profile of the Blacks by ESPNw, the sisters' mother:
"I have a marketing degree . . . and I knew I needed to do something for them to stand out, and we thought it was cute," Gayal said. "[Tornado didn't like her name] a few years ago. Kids tease you. But now they understand it's marketing and it's very big to say a storm blew through the U.S. Open."
It's official: parents have figured out our weakness for excellent athlete names, and are preying on it. Now, all their children need to do is become highly successful in their chosen sport, and the endorsements and adulation will roll in, regardless of their personality. Alarming.
It's kind of a bummer that she doesn't like the name -- as someone who wishes their name didn't have a D in it, I can't imagine being TORNADO against my will. Although the tennis thing seems to be working out.
Of course, the actual scary part is parents deciding their kids will be tennis stars at like six months, but that seems pretty par for the course nowadays. Best of luck to the storm sisters in their future tennis endeavors, and their future very obvious ad campaigns.