How One Family’s Pursuit of Tennis Success Ended in Heartache

Four years ago, David Lewis received a phone call from the coroner’s office in Washington, D.C. His oldest daughter, Carolina, a former college tennis player, had been found dead in a hotel room. She was 23.

Lewis would later hear a convoluted story about a night of club-hopping, a man in a disguise, Carolina’s panicked phone calls and the rendezvous with a stranger that preceded her death. But at that moment, all he knew was that he had lost a daughter.

The Lewises are tennis royalty in their native New Zealand. David, 59, had been a touring pro, as had his brother, Mark. Another brother, Chris, played in the 1983 Wimbledon men’s singles final, losing to John McEnroe.

For a time, Carolina and her sister, Jade, carried on the family tradition. When they showed promise on the court as young teenagers, their parents moved the family to the United States so the girls could chase tennis stardom.

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