"There is always a way forward, you just have to stay in the present long enough to figure it out."
Sue T. Bartlett
Class of 2008
USPTA State Professional of the Year 1991
UTC Hall of Fame 1994
Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame 2004
NFHS Sectional and State Coach of the Year 2005
Sue T. Bartlett began playing tennis in high school in England at 13 years of age. In 1977, she came to the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga on a tennis scholarship. At UTC she won the AIAW Division 2 Nationals in 1978 and 1979 and was an All American. She graduated in 1981 and for the next decade won numerous Tennessee state singles, doubles, and mixed doubles open championships and Chattanooga city closed singles, doubles, and mixed. Some of her United States playing highlights include winning her first gold ball at USTA National 35 Singles hardcourts in Tempe, Arizona in 1993, winning a USTA National Mother/Daughter Championship with her daughter Claire in 2003, and winning a USTA National 50 Clay court singles in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida in 2012. She represented Tennessee at the Senior Southern Cup winning numerous titles and has also represented the Southern Team at the National Women’s Intersectional Tournament winning most years since 1993. Internationally, she won the British National 50 Indoors singles in 2009, the British National 55 Grass Court singles in 2012, and the British National Indoors 60 singles in 2018. Since 2009, Bartlett has represented Great Britain at the ITF Senior World Team Championships winning gold in 2009, silver in 2010, 2013, 2014 and bronze in 2011, 2015, and 2017.
Bartlett has been the head coach for the tennis program at Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga since 1988. Under her leadership, GPS posted five TSSAA State Team Championships and was runner up eight times. She has coached seven individual TSSAA singles champions and five individual TSSAA doubles champions. She also coached the USTA Southern Team at National Team Championships for 2007-2008 and the Team Tennessee at Southern Cup in 2006, 2008, and 2009. The Chattanooga Times Free Press named her High School Coach of the year in 1998, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010.
Bartlett has been a member and leader in several tennis service organizations including the Southern USPTA, USTA, TTPF, and ACTPRO. From 2000-2013, she oversaw tennis tournaments/clinics to benefit Girls Inc, Make a Wish, Friends of Rwanda, and Bridge Refugees.
Bartlett cites playing alongside her daughter and seeing her succeed nationally as one of her most treasured tennis experiences, but she says watching all her girls teams succeed means more to her than any of her individual wins. The Bartletts earned the Tennessee Tennis Family of the Year award in 1991 and 1999.
Bartlett said “Tennis has given me a vehicle to travel the world and meet some of the most amazing people. I enjoy the sport as much today as I ever have! It has given me friendships, great exercise, and taught me so many life lessons—not to give up, how to work hard, to remember we can always learn and improve in all aspects of our lives. It has been a privilege to pass on to others with my career.”
Bartlett credits three college coaches with influencing her tennis career: Alice Tym (Class of 2013) who taught her to compete hard but enjoy everything; Bill Tym (Class of 2003) who taught her how to find physical and mental strength in the game, and Tommy Bartlett (Class of 1992) who taught her how to use her strengths against her opponents’ weaknesses.