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USTA Georgia
116 Marble Mill Road
Marietta, GA 30060
Tax ID 58-1309245

Twin Connections in This Family

October 10, 2015 06:50 PM

By Ron Cioffi/USTA Southern

Ryan Dodd serves while Taylor guards the net.

Pictured above: The Dodds: Ryan, Morgan, Taylor, Luke and Heather.

Mixed doubles is often a family affair with husbands and wives collaborating on court. This Georgia family doubles up the connection with a father playing with each of his two high-powered 18-year-old daughters.

The twin connection is also bolstered by the fact that the youngsters, Morgan and Taylor Dodd, are identical twins. They compete with their father, Ryan, and mother, Heather, on the 18s 8.0 Georgia (A) team.

Taking a page from the Bryan brothers’ book, Morgan and Taylor Dodd are righty and lefty players. They also play doubles together.

Additionally, their air-tight and close relationship is sealed by taking the same schedule of courses at Sequoyah High School in Canton, Georgia. Why are they in the same classes? Because the twins are in the highest level of rigor in advanced placement (AP) and other most-challenging courses.

“It’s pretty much 24/7,” explained Taylor. “But, at least we have our own rooms,” chimed in Morgan. They also train at the Stephen Diaz Tennis Academy.

The girls are focused on tennis and academics, with working just one day a week for gas money. Asked if they player other sports, Taylor said with in no uncertain terms, “We just play tennis.”

Both girls are aiming to play tennis in college after years of pounding the courts on the USTA junior tournament circuit.

“It’s every weekend. This week in Mobile; next weekend in Augusta; next week in Norcross. Icy Hot this weekend. Level I the next weekend … all costing money,” said Ryan, their father and teammate.

Still, he said “Tennis is a family sport. You can play it your entire lifetime,” Ryan said. “When mother and daughter, father and daughter can play together, it’s really special. We love the USTA and what it does to promote tennis.” He is a former volunteer at the Cherokee County Tennis Association. “I always buy a five-year family USTA membership.” His son, Luke, also plays occasionally.

Ryan has played with his wife, Heather, in other league tennis matches but is usually on court with Morgan in mixed. “She’s a righty and I’m a lefty,” he explained. Due to a lineup change, he was going out with Taylor for their Saturday afternoon contest.

Competition is a key component in this family. “We are just very competitive at everything,” Morgan said.

Ryan rose to the professional ranks in BMX racing. When it was time to consider taking up tennis in 2002, he started hitting with a few former college players in his subdivision. The 6’3” dad said he progressed quickly to 4.0.

The sisters are aiming to college tennis careers … but maybe not at the same school. “Some schools are interested in both gilrs and some are interested in one and not the other,” Ryan reported. With different career paths (Taylor: physical therapist, Morgan: business and marketing), they might not be going to the same college.

Will end up at on the same college team? “If it works out, great. If not, that’s great, too. But, then, she will be heartbroken,” quipped Morgan.