Michael Antonius

Dec 15, 2023

Meet Michael Antonius, one of Drew’s friends on the tennis circuit and a tremendous competitor. One of the best players in the country and someone Drew bonded with from the first time they met.

“Dear Drew,

It is hard to write this letter to you. All of this seems unreal. My memories of you are what a nice kid off the court you are, but on court, from the first point, watch out!  I knew every match against you would be tough and I needed to be on my A-game.

The fierceness you would bring, your willingness to play every point, your scrappiness…you would never go away, always playing until the end. It was unmatched and inspiring. I also must admit that I awed your backhand that simply was world-class material. We battled a few times, and you always brought the best out of me, and I hope I pushed you as well.

Your tenacity on the court was outmatched by your big heart off the court. We had a ton of fun, whether it was playing Marco Polo in the hotel pool in Orlando, or eating pizza at Park Pizza, or just hanging out in Boca Raton during the Les Petits As Playoffs. What will always be with me is your personality and your inclusiveness of others. When I went to my first Empire Cup tournament at 9 years old, watching you play, with the backward hat, superb backhand, and tenacity on full display was awesome. But even more memorable was bumping into you at the hotel lobby after I had lost. You didn’t really know me at the time, I was still the new kid, but you came over and invited me over to the table where you and other kids were hanging out. This memory of you inviting me into your circle of friends, and including me in what you were doing, left a long-lasting impression on me.  

Keep pushing us from above, keep inspiring us, I will try to continue what you started…You are missed by all on the national circuit and in the Eastern section. We will remember you always.

With love,