Altadena’s Tristan Boyer is headed to Stanford after globetrotting on the tennis circuit for years, experiencing the trials of international competition while traversing different cultures and continents with racquet in tow. In recent years, he’s played tournaments in Turkey, Egypt, and Tunisia, and represented the United States in Junior Davis Cup and Youth Olympic play. Boyer has felt the allure of the big stage, with appearances in 2018 at the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and US Open. That same year he reached the final of the International Spring Championships in Carson, the quarters at USTA Nationals, and peaked at the top of the national junior rankings.
We asked Tristan about the factors that led him to join the Stanford Cardinal this fall, what he’d do to make an impact on the sport, and what moment stands out as the wildest off-court off-court experience of his worldwide travels.
Q : It’s almost as if off-season training started, ended, and now will start again. What’s your training regiment like as you prepare to enter a new season of play?
In terms of training right now, I’ve been super lucky to have access to a private court, so I haven’t really played any less than I would have normally. Of course, the training is more focused on physical condition as opposed to tennis, just like off season. But compared to normal off-season training my regiment has been very similar: normally one session of tennis, and two sessions of conditioning, one strength and one cardio/movement.
Q : You travel across the globe to lots of pretty amazing places. At the same time, you keep up with training and diet. Is it difficult to keep a routine when you’re globetrotting so regularly?
Keeping up with the training and diet on the road is not that difficult. I don’t really have a strict diet routine, so that’s not a big problem, and we are normally in places that have a good gym and courts to train, so training isn’t that much more difficult than it is at home. Of course, there are challenges that go generally with traveling, like jet lag and adjusting to a new environment every week, but in terms of access to courts and meals and a gym, it’s pretty easy.
Q : Of all the places you’ve traveled, what was the wildest off-court experience you had in another country?
One week I was playing in Tunisia and I was rooming with this guy who sleep walked, and one night he started sleepwalking. He got up out of his bed at about 3 AM, opened the door, and walked out. He woke me up, and of course I was worried, so I followed him outside. When I got outside I saw him sprinting back-and-forth on the lawn right outside of our room. I started yelling at him to come back inside, but he didn’t really hear me. I waited for him to stop running and he walked back inside. I try to go back to sleep but I was pretty shaken up. It was a little scary to he honest. It took a little bit to fall asleep again.
Q : You are headed to Stanford this fall. Did you plan for college all along, or were you weighing college vs. pro tennis?
My parents always wanted me to go to college, so barring exceptional circumstances I was going to have to go. The goal with my development and the coaches I had was to aim as high as possible in terms in of development so that when I went to college I would be one of the better recruits, one of the guys who had a chance to go pro but decided to go to college. That puts you in a good place for recruitment. For my entire development under 18, I was aiming to be top 100 or top 150 by the time I was 18. Basically, the goal was to be good enough that I didn’t have to go to college. That was my thought process. If you have that mindset, then being a college athlete appears relatively easy. Obviously I didn’t come anywhere close to being 150 at 18, but I was (still) training to achieve that.
Q: Your dad is on the USTA SoCal board. If we appointed you to the same board, what’s the hot topic you’d like to champion? Why?
I think it’s really cool that my dad is on the board. If I were on the board I think I would really be pushing for more engagement with kids in tennis, because I think that is really important to the state of American tennis. My dad, as you probably know, holds the same opinion, but a lot of kids are being lost to other sports, and if I were on the board I would really focus on getting more kids to play tennis instead of basketball, football, baseball, soccer, etc.
Q: We’re taking you off the court and placing you in the broadcast booth with Johnny Mac. What match, past or future, would you like to call from the broadcast booth, and why?
This is a really good question, and a really tough one to answer. There are so many good matches in the history of tennis. I think one that would be really interesting to commentate would be the year Ashe won US Open. This was a really big match for tennis and I think one of the most important matches in tennis. Winning U.S. Open as a black man, who grew up in pre-Civil Rights Act America, is one of the most impressive things ever done in tennis. Another match I would’ve loved to be in the commentary box for would be the 2019 Wimbledon final with Federer and Djokovic. That’s just a classic match between maybe the two best players ever. If I was with Johnny Mac in the box I think I also have to say one of his matches. Maybe v Borg at Wimby in 1980, another classic. It’d be cool to see what John has to say about his own match.
Q: No Wimbledon whites here – you’ve got free rein to wear anything you want during matches. What’s your outfit look like?
I for the most part like what’s worn in tennis so I don’t really think that I’d go crazy if I could wear anything I wanted. One think I think is really cool is the old shoes Agassi used to wear in the beginning of his career, so I’d wear those for sure.