John Isner, Kevin Anderson, Steve Johnson, Jennifer Brady, Danielle Collins… Just a couple of tennis players that have shown that the step from college tennis to the professional circuit is possible. But they are no exceptions. They are part of a big group of players who have shown that the four-year college tennis adventure optimally prepares you for a career as a professional tennis player.

If college tennis was a country, it would have the most players in the ATP Top 300: no fewer than 33. The top 200 includes 20 men who have played college tennis. And in the ATP Top 750 there are 120! On the WTA Tour 18 former college tennis players belong to the best 300 single players. In doubles there are 35. Meaning more than 1 / 10th of all the top 300 players comes from a college tennis career.

Former USC tennis player Robert Farah wins Wimbledon

The figures in the worldwide men’s doubles rankings are even more staggering. 20 percent of the top 100 doubles have played college tennis, including Robert Farah, the current number 1 in the world who played for the University of Southern California. The Bryan brothers, who played for Stanford University, and Germany’s Andreas Mies, who won Roland Garros two years in a row. Our own tennis heroes Paul Haarhuis (Florida State University) and Jean-Julien Rojer (UCLA) also played college tennis and then made it far on the tour with several grand slam victories. But boys who played at lower-ranked Division 1 universities have also reached the top. Sander Gille (East Tennessee State University) and Joran Vliegen (East Carolina University) are now 13th in the world rankings; and Dutchman Sem Verbeek, who played at the University of the Pacific, is now ranked #144.

These figures show that as a 17 or 18 year old you don’t have to go straight onto the professional circuit to become a professional tennis player. From the age of 18 to 23, you will experience a lot on a mental and physical level. In the USA, top facilities and resources can be found. These are specifically designed for athletes to optimally develop in those areas, but also in other areas, so that you can get the most out of your career. In addition, during your years as a college tennis player you train as much as if you were to play tennis full-time, and often play even more matches. At the best universities, you get the chance to play professional tournaments, all at the expense of the university!

USC Tennis – The homebase for Lodewijk Weststrate

Did you know that…

  • Slamstox tennis players Lodewijk Weststrate and Laurens Verboven at University of Southern California (USC) have studied and played tennis, just like Steve Johnson (ATP # 72) and Yannick Hanfmann (ATP # 98)?
  • Slamstox tennis player Sander Jong now represents the team of Texas Christian University (TCU), where current number 71 in the world Cameron Norrie has also played?

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