NEW YORK - With all eyes on Rafael Nadal in the U.S. Open, one spectator will be watching with the satisfaction of knowing that she beat him. Here's the thing: she's 14!
As she enters her first year of high school, Estee Ackerman of West Hempstead, Long Island, is ranked No. 1 in the under-15 category in New York State and No. 6 in that category nationwide at table tennis. And yes, she beat Rafael Nadal when she was 11. After she beat the tennis star, he went on to win the U.S. Open.
As she prepares to juggle her ping-pong career with hours of high school homework, Estee now has her eyes set on the Olympics.
I asked Estee to take my game to the next level, so she played ping-pong with me. And, after a few successful volleys, it seemed Estee did elevate my ping pong game if only for a moment.