More and more Dutch tennis players decide to continue with their tennis and academic careers in the American college tennis system. A unique opportunity to develop in a team with fantastic facilities, while at the same time receiving an international degree and gaining world and life experience. It’s definitely not uncommon for college tennis players to turn pro after their college careers.

Some great examples of Dutch college players being successful on the ATP tour include Paul Haarhuis (Florida State University, 6 grand slam titles) and Jean Julien Rojer (UCLA, 3 grand slam titles). Over the last years we haven’t seen many Dutch players break through the top of the world rankings. Can our current college tennis players change that?

This article shows the UTR top-10 of male College Tennis players in the Netherlands. And guess what .. 8 of them are Slamstox tennis players! Curious about this impressive list full of talented and hardworking Division I players? Check it out below!

10. Boris Spanjaard

Boris Spanjaard – DePaul University

UTR-rating: 12.07
University: DePaul University
Division/Conference: NCAA Division I, Big East Conference

Boris Spanjaard, an experienced student-athlete, comes in at place 10 among Dutch College Tennis players with the highest UTR. In the school year of 2016/2017, Boris left Nieuw-Vennep for a life as student-athlete in Chicago. This Dutch tennis talent has now obtained his diploma in Business & Marketing at DePaul University.

As a Blue Demon, he can write several successes to his name: in 2017, 2018 and 2019 Boris and his team were named ITA All-Academic Team and in 2018 he received the title of All-BIG East First Team. In 2018, Boris was named ‘Big East Athlete of the Week’ as an individual player. What a champ! With a UTR-ranking of 12.07 he is in the 10th spot of this top 10.

Pascal Wagemaker – Georgia Southern University

9. Pascal Wagemaker

UTR-rating: 12.10
University: Georgia Southern University
Division/Conference: Division I, Sun Belt Conference

Pascal Wagemaker is both athletically and academically talented. When he graduated cum laude from high school in 2017, he was more than ready for his adventure in the USA. There, he became part of ‘The Eagles’ at Georgia Southern University and started studying Mechanical Engineering. Pascal is teammates with Jaap Aaldering, who told us a lot more about his Georgia Southern experiences in a cool article. Another fun fact: the team at Georgia Southern is coached by Dutchman Sander Koning, who was a big player in his college career for Clemson!

This school year, another cool thing happened at Georgia Southern University since Pascal’s sister, Sophie, became part of the Women’s Tennis Team! Pascal and Sophie’s talent for the sport doesn’t come from a stranger: their mother, Denisa Wagemaker-Silvanova, was a professional tennis player.

In January last year, Pascal was named ‘Athlete of the Week’ for the Sun Belt Conference. Let’s go Eagles!

8. Jim Hendrikx

UTR-rating: 12.10
University: Samford University
Division/Conference: NCAA Division I, Southern Conference

Jim Hendrikx – Samford University

Jim, coming from Heeze in Brabant, was trained at Amjoy Tennis during his career. He was among the best tennis players in his age in the Netherlands, obtained his VWO-diploma at Sint Joris College in Eindhoven and left for Samford University in September.

And when we’re talking about a jump start, we’re talking about Jim’s first months at Samford. Together with doubles partner Victor Chaw, he already achieved the highest ranking in the history of the university, coming in at #19 of the ITA doubles rankings. Jim’s UTR in doubles is 12.82, making him a top 4 doubles player in college from. the Netherlands. And all of this in his first months as a freshman. Pretty bizarre, right? What’s next Jimmy ?!

It’s clear that we are going to hear a lot more about Jim. For now he is, with a ranking of 12.10, in the top 10 of Dutch UTR players. Go Jim!

Tom Moonen – Middle Tennessee State University

7. Tom Moonen

UTR-rating: 12.39
University Middle Tennessee State University
Division/Conference: Division I, Conference USA

Tom Moonen, not an uncommon name for readers of the Slamstox News page. Our big man has earlier appeared in a Senior Spotlight, participated in a Q&A and we wrote about his university in a University Spotlight. Tom is a three time (!) Dutch Champion during his junior career and started his career as a student-athlete at Middle Tennessee State in 2016.

As a student-athlete, he and his team won the USA Conference and various other titles, but Tom also won several individual titles. We can safely say that Tom is one of the most decorated student-athletes we have ever seen in our community. In addition, he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Accounting and is now pursuing a master’s degree in Finance. The corona outbreak in 2020 brought Tom (and many other student-athletes) something beautiful: an extra year of eligibility. And of course, Tom did not hesitate to make use of that!

Tom’s career as a student-athlete is now almost coming to an end, and he is already looking to the future. His experience as a student-athlete will definitely benefit him in finding a job in finance. Let’s go Tom!

Stijn Slump – Middle Tennessee State University

6. Stijn Slump

UTR-rating: 12.64
University: Middle Tennessee State University
Division/Conference: Division I, Conference USA

Tom is not the only Dutch tennis player in the Men’s team at Middle Tennessee State, because the talented Stijn Slump has joined as well! Stijn is now in his junior year at university and he already has several great titles to his name, check it out on his players profile.

Before he left for the USA, Stijn was always one of the top 10 best players in his age, won a national title and participated in various ATP tournaments. He also managed to beat several highly ranked ITF youth players, including the number 3, 12 and 28 on the list.

With a UTR rating of 12.64, he is in 6th place of the highest ranked UTR College Tennis players in the Netherlands!

Christian Lerby – Arizona State University

5. Christian Lerby

UTR-rating: 12.69
University: Arizona State University
Division/Conference: Division I, Pac-12 Conference

Christian Lerby is a sophomore student-athlete at Arizona State University. His father, Søren Lerby, is a former professional soccer player in the Eredivisie and played at Ajax and PSV. Christian also played a lot of soccer during his youth. He played tennis at LLTC Laren and trained with Tjerk Bogtstra, but was also midfielder and striker for Zuidvogels at Huizen. When he was twelve years old he moved with his family to Marbella, it was the moment he had to choose: soccer or tennis. He then chose for tennis, because he likes the individual aspect of tennis better. Christian reached a career high of #68 in the Dutch juniors.

The choice for tennis turned out to be a good one since his dream of one day playing at a Grand Slam became reality in 2019. He participated in the junior tournament of the Australian Open. A great experience for the tennis player. He told AD: “I saw Federer and Nadal in the gym. Well, I kept a close eye on them to see what kind of exercises they did. ” And right you are, Christian!

As a sophomore at Arizona State, he is still at the beginning of his career as a student-athlete. So more to come ..!

Daniel de Jonge – Pepperdine University

4. Daniel de Jonge

UTR-rating: 13.13
University: Pepperdine University
Division/Conference: Division I, West Coast Conference

California dreaming, that’s what the current student life of tennis player Daniel de Jonge looks like. As a ‘Pepperdine Wave’, Daniel is part of the successful men’s team at Pepperdine University in, oh yes, Malibu! But Daniel has worked hard to make this California dream a reality. And what a great place can Pepperdine be, check out more in this University Spotlight.

In the Netherlands he already obtained several ATP points, both in singles and in the doubles. After he graduated with a VWO diploma, he started a college program in Belgium and then joined Pepperdine as a second-year student. At Pepperdine, Daniel was quickly named ‘Rookie of the Year’ and was named ‘WCC Singles & Doubles Player of the Week’ in one week.

Daniel still has some time to go with the Pepperdine Waves, so we will undoubtedly hear more about him. For now he is in 4th place in this top 10 with a UTR score of 13.13! Vamos Champ!

Guy den Ouden – Pepperdine University

3. Guy den Ouden

UTR-rating: 13.17
University: Pepperdine University
Division/Conference: Division I, West Coast Conference

‘Calfornia Dreaming’ at the University of Pepperdine in Malibu, Dutch tennis talent Guy den Ouden felt something for that as well. He joined the Pepperdine Waves in January this year.

Guy became Dutch champion U16 and later also U18. But his biggest moment so far came in 2020, and it was BIG: he reached the semi-finals of the junior tournament at Roland Garros. A great achievement that all Dutch tennis fans can be proud of. The last Dutch tennis player to achieve that was Thiemo de Bakker in 2006. Guy also reached his ITF junior high ranking right after that: #19!

Next month, Guy will turn 19 years old, which means that he will no longer be able play junior tournaments. That is why January was a perfect time for him to make the most of his tennis career as a student-athlete in the USA. He tells RTV Utrecht the following: “I’m going to the USA to chase my tennis dream and get even better there”.

With a UTR rating of 13.17 Guy is in the top 3 of highest rated UTR College Players in the Netherlands!

Lodewijk Weststrate – University of Southern California

2. Lodewijk Weststrate

UTR-rating: 13.21
University: University of Southern California
Division/Conference: Division I, Pac-12 Conference

Five-time (!) Dutch champion Lodewijk Weststrate also chose for a career in the USA. He graduated from high school and was ready for a new adventure: a life as student-athlete at the University of Southern California! Lodewijk reached a career high ITF ranking of #39 and also won his first ATP points before leaving for the US. USC is one of the largest and most successful universities in the USA: the men’s tennis team already won 21 NCAA titles since its existence. Players like Steve Johnson, Yannick Hanfmann and Roberto Quiroz are great examples of former USC players. Lodewijk is the fourth Duch tennis player to work hard as a Trojan in the heart of Los Angeles. Peter Lucassen, Max de Vroome and Laurens Verboven (a little bit Dutch) were Trojans before him.

The 19-year-old tennis player is only at the beginning of his college career, but is already achieving great success at USC. Perhaps the most bizarre point ever he played in January this year, and yes, it is on film! Check it out here.

With a UTR rating of 13.21, Lodewijk is in second place in this top 10. Let’s go Champ!

Would you like to read more about the special university of Lodewijk? Then check out this article. You can also read the interview we did with Lodewijk before he left for the USA.

Sander Jong – Texas Christian University

1. Sander Jong

UTR-rating: 13.40
University: Texas Christian University
Division/Conference: Division I, Big 12 Conference

There can only be one in first place, and that’s Sander Jong! Sander left for Texas in August 2018 to start his adventure as a student-athlete. Before his departure, the tennis player from Vught had played at the highest level in the Netherlands for years and gained a lot of experience in the ITF Junior tour. His highest ITF juniors ranking before leaving to college was #277.

A lot of interest from different coaches and universities came for Sander, and to make a good choice he visited various universities in the USA. Eventually he chose TCU. A private university with approximately 10,000 students. TCU is known for a great coaching team specialized in player development. One of their former players is Cameron Norrie (ATP high #41). Sander’s current team includes players such as Jake Fearnly (ITF #27), Tomas Jirousek (ATP#762) and Tadas Paroulek (ATP #531). Over the last 2 years, Sander has made big strides in his tennis career. He’s a strong player in singles and doubles for TCU. In the Netherlands, he reached the top 30 of the Dutch rankings winning multiple national tournaments. He also became very successful in the Dutch Eredivisie.

The facilities on the campus are amazing. The largest stadium, for American football, offers seating for 47 thousand spectators! In this article you can see more of Sander’s University.

With a UTR rating of 13.40, the tennis champ is the highest rated college tennis player of the Netherlands!

Crazy list of tennis talents in the USA, right? And please note, this was only part 1 .. Next week you will read all about the top 10 female college tennis players! So stay tuned.

Would you like to improve your UTR rating or play college tennis? The UTR Flex Leagues ensure that tennis players can improve their UTR rating, even during corona measures. Here you will find more information about UTR Flex & how to register!

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