Former Tennis Prodigy Finds Purpose as Nun

Andrea Jaeger helps child athletes, cancer, and abuse victims

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted May 26, 2009 2:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – The world met her as a plucky 14-year-old tennis phenom with pigtails, a bratty star who fought her way to No. 2 in the world rankings. But that early success came with a heavy pricetag, and Andrea Jaeger has found her place as an Anglican Dominican nun, the Washington Post reports, devoting life and fortune to helping kids with cancer, child athletes, and child abuse victims.

Jaeger was scarred by a childhood lived hotel-to-hotel, coached by a distant, abusive father. Today’s prodigies have more advisers and agents, but “they are not being nurtured or protected,” Jaeger says. So she’s worked with tennis groups, and urged US Olympic officials to provide greater emotional and spiritual care for athletes. “I’m not saying I’m a well-balanced human being,” she says. “I just know I love what I do. I have peace.”

Andrea Jaeger, a 15-year-old American player, on the Centre Court at Wimbledon where she beat Britain's Virginia Wade in two sets.   (Getty Images)
2nd July 1980: 15-year-old American tennis player Andrea Jaeger.   (Getty Images)
Tennis great Andrea Jaeger talks to attendees at a panel discussion on sports charities during the 2009 SportAccord gathering in Denver, Wednesday, March 25, 2009.   (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
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