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BACK ON HER GAME

Ifbb figure competitor Amanda Savell, once a budding tennis prodigy, has reinvented herself in a new sport. Here's how she developed a back that turns the judges' heads

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BACK ON HER GAME

Ifbb figure competitor Amanda Savell, once a budding tennis prodigy, has reinvented herself in a new sport. Here's how she developed a back that turns the judges' heads

AMANDA SAVELL
BIRTHDATE Jan. 26, 1978
BIRTHPLACE Nashville, Tennessee
CURRENT RESIDENCE Dallas
HEIGHT 5'51.2"
WEIGHT 128 pounds contest, 140 pounds off-season
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS 2007: Figure International, 2nd., 2006 & 2005: Europa Super Show, 1st
TO CONTACT amandasavell.com

FATE AND ITS TORTUROUS INVOLUTIONS often divide people into two categories: those who adapt to the unexpected detours and use what they've learned in one area as a springboard to the next, or those who spend their time on the couch dispensing stories of their glory days to neighborhood kids like sour lozenges. "And there's more where that came from!" tends to be their defining motto.

For Amanda Savell, that divide was introduced on a tennis court in 1994 when her foot went in one direction and her knee in another on a balmy summer day in Georgia. She was 16 and one of the top amateur players in the country. She had spent the previous six years at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Florida, where some of the game's greatest players trained: Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, Mary Pierce, Pete Sampras. Amanda hoped to be among their ranks one day. Earlier that year she had moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to resume life with her family, which meant she was less than an eight-hour drive from the site of the Nationals in Atlanta. She drove herself. Her doctor would later say the trip had probably tightened her legs, especially her hamstrings. Or maybe it was just the fickle hand of fate meddling as it often does in the lives of talented young athletes. Whatever the case, while stretching for a deep backhand hit by a friend on a practice court only minutes after arriving, Amanda heard a pop that resounded—in more ways than one—like a gunshot.

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