When asked how old was he when he moved in U.S. from Denmark, Lars responded: “I was 17. I came over in 1980. I grew up in Copenhagen, Denmark, and my dad was a tennis player, and spent a lot of the ’60s and the ’70s traveling a lot in the United States.
“So I spent quite a bit of time with him on the road here, and when I started going to school when I was 16 or 17, I encouraged my mom and my dad to find my idea of moving to Southern California,” he continued. “We landed in Newport Beach in the fall of 1980 when I was 17, and obviously, that was a pretty significantly different world from what I grew up with, still under the false impression at the time that I could follow my father’s footsteps and play tennis, and maybe take it to a professional level.
“In Denmark, which is a very small country, I was playing at different levels and ages, but when I came to Newport Beach, I was not even in the Top 10 in the street where I was living in.”
“There was a lot of competition,” Lars added. “Where I grew up, tennis was an old-school gentlemen’s sport. Social people get together and play tennis, have a couple of beers — it was that kind of thing. But at that time in America, it was very competitive, and a lot of parents, maybe middle-class parents, pushed their kids into tennis to achieve economic success.”