Tennis beauty Rachel Stuhlmann reveals why she became Instagram superstar after giving up her dream of being pro star

RACHEL STUHLMANN has grand plans.

The sexy tennis star, 31, has become the No1 influencer in the sport – amassing a staggering 262,000 followers on Instagram, drawn to her glam photos, fashionable outfits and her love of the court.

INSTAGRAMRachel Stuhlmann is tennis’s No1 influencer[/caption]

Tennis beauty Stuhlmann has amassed a huge following on social mediainstagram @rstuhlmann

On Instagram Stuhlmann has over 260,000 followers

But the brunette beauty does not want to alienate female fans who could easily feel envious of her stunning curves.

Instead, she hopes to empower women and make them feel comfortable about their bodies, while showing how they can stay svelte with her exercise plans.

Stuhlmann, who has plans on launching her own tennis tournament, also opened up about online trolls who have made her a target because of her epic rise.

She plans to continue to ‘spread the love’ around the game to the bigger masses.

Speaking to SunSport, Stuhlmann said: “I think every woman should celebrate her body no matter what.

“I want to empower women, not alienate or make women who don’t look exactly like me feel bad.

“I’m very well aware of instagram and body ideals and I don’t want to be part of a problem for little girls.

“I show that I’m not just taking pictures of me looking good, I show how hard I work out to get the body that I have.

“I also show that it’s not just about my body or looks, I care about tennis, the game, the people.

“Yes, people should celebrate their bodies but they should also celebrate who they are as a person.”

Tennis prodigy

Stuhlmann caught the tennis bug when she was just five.

By the time she was a teenager, she was nationally ranked on the USTA’s Junior Circuit and went on to play NCAA Division I collegiate tennis.

A professional career was in the offing, if she wanted it.

“I knew I was good enough and could eventually get there,” she said.

“But I thought the reality was that it would take me five to seven years to get to the top and I didn’t want to live the lifestyle that came along with playing in small cities and essentially living out of a car.”

Stuhlmann began playing tennis aged fiveInstagram @rstuhlmann

Rather than go pro, Stuhlmann opted for a life as an influencer

Stuhlmann’s provocative outfits have caused a stir on the courtInstagram / @rstuhlmann

Positive influence

Instead, Rachel chose to be an influencer in the world of tennis, although it’s something she confessed she accidentally fell into.

She said: “I have done so much in professional tennis, media, broadcasting, writing, marketing, sales, tournament sponsorships and partnerships, player relations, events and much more.

“The sport has taken me to so many different tournaments and a lot of amazing places that I kind of just started posting along the way.

“I decided I wanted to share the cool sides of the sport – the travel, the tournaments, fashion within the game… everything.

“The response from people has been awesome. I have received so much support and so many messages from people all over the world telling me that they are now interested in tennis, picking up tennis, watching tennis, etc. It’s been pretty awesome.”

Stuhlmann wouldn’t be drawn on how much she earns per sponsored Instagram post.

Instead, she said: “I really like to work on long-term partnerships with different brands and companies. Something more than just a one-off post.

“I like to have real relationships with the companies that I work with.”

Instagram @rstuhlmannRachel Stuhlmann shares images of her workouts[/caption]

Body conscious Stuhlmann hopes to empower women by showing off her curvesInstagram / @rstuhlmann

Stuhlmann is often seen glamming up major tennis eventsInstagram / @rstuhlmann

Not always plain-sailing

However, with the good comes the band.

In what can be a snooty environment, Stuhlmann has not found too much opposition in tennis circles.

“Generally I have received a lot of love from everyone and it has been amazing,” she said.

“Early on in my career, I was bullied by a couple of people, but decided to not let their words get to me and decided to be myself and it was one of the best decisions that I ever made.”

While online, trolls have had made her a target the more famous she has got.

“As I continue to grow across all platforms, I will admit that it’s not all a beautiful world and everyone doesn’t just love each other,” she said.

“Like anything, some people say nasty things and it gets to me. I’m a person, but I have a great support system and faith to never go to a dark place.”

For now, Stuhlmann is happy to preach the sport she loves dearly.

“I want to keep spreading love around the game! I would love to continue to travel and showcase the various tournaments around the world.

As a tennis advocate, Stuhlmann preaches her love for the sport to the massesInstagram / @rstuhlmann

Instagram / @rstuhlmannFor her next trick, Stuhlmann wants to release a book and launch a tennis tournament[/caption]

Instagram / @rstuhlmannThe world is Stuhlmann’s oyster[/caption]

“I have other projects that I am working on. I am working on a book, and I am also working on bringing a professional tournament to St Louis.”

Online domination complete, the world appears to be next.

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