Faith Lutheran junior tennis player Jade Mayweather was fed up. Fed up with the comparisons to her cousin Floyd. Fed up with the losses — losses he never had.
So fed up that she was ready to quit tennis after this season.
“My self-confidence was so destroyed,” she said. “I was sad. I was crying. I was like, ‘This sport is so hard.’”
Mayweather quelled those self-doubts last Thursday by upsetting Durango’s Averiana Mitchell in the Class 4A Sunset Regional singles tournament semifinals to clinch a berth in the 4A state tournament, which runs Thursday to Saturday at Darling Tennis Center. She will compete in the singles and team draw for the Crusaders.
The high school season has been a blur for Mayweather, who didn’t take up tennis until she was 10 and played halfheartedly throughout her early teenage years.
But she rallied toward the end of the year and is playing some of her best tennis at the most opportune time.
“This was never something on my bucket list,” she said. “I don’t have any words for it … To actually be out here is just crazy.”
All the more crazy considering she’s a member of boxing’s most famous family.
Mayweather’s dad, Roger, was a two-weight world champion boxer who logged more than 70 professional fights and trained her first cousin Floyd, who doesn’t require an introduction.
Jade practically grew up in the gym and attended Floyd’s training camps and fights alongside the rest of the Money Team. Roger, who was unavailable for comment, trained her in boxing, and she played a bevy of other sports before finally trying tennis at the No Quit Tennis Academy.
“I thought this would be a sport that I’d play for a little bit and then quit,” she said, “like most of the other sports I was doing.”
But she stuck with it despite cycling through private coaches and discarding the ones who contrasted her work ethic with Floyd’s.
Mayweather’s mother, Charlotte Durisseau, acknowledged that Jade’s last name “has its pros and its cons” and said her daughter was frustrated by initial comparisons.
“She was like, ‘They’re always comparing me to Floyd, this is a totally different game,’” Durisseau said. “But (being a Mayweather) definitely helps, because they’re a very competitive family in every area.”
Mayweather attended Faith Lutheran during junior high and transferred to Bishop Gorman before her freshman year. She played tennis for the Gaels as a ninth-grader, but returned as a sophomore to Faith Lutheran, where she sat out last year’s high school season before returning to play in 2017.
Crusaders coach Jeff Foley said Mayweather has been a fantastic role model for players in his program and added that she’s “exceeded our expectations” with her play this season.
“For her to get to (the state tournament), you hope for that and you know that she has that possibility,” Foley said. “She’s got more to come. State’s coming up, and we’re still in the team thing. We’re still rolling along.”
Despite her success, Mayweather said it’s still difficult to forge her own identity and shake the expectations that accompany her last name.
But she has a tremendous amount of pride in her family, and Durisseau said she’s figured out how to channel it into a productive, self-serving focus.
A focus she’ll need against the state’s best tennis players this weekend.
“Her last name alone, she tries to elevate her game, just to satisfy her family,” Durisseau said. “She has a deep, innate competitive drive that she really goes for and digs for on the court.”
Contact reporter Sam Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.