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Where Are They Now?

Where Are They Now?
Checking in with Former USC Standout Amanda Fink
by Todd Holcomb, 11 March 2015

It's been 10 years since Amanda Fink was a Blue Chip senior. Fink went on to be a two-time All-American at USC and competed professionally for almost three years - rising into the Top 300 in the world. TennisRecruiting.net recently caught up with Fink, who is now a teaching pro, and she lets us in on the most under-utilized training strategy for junior players.

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Where Are They Now?
Catching Up with Gator Great Lauren Embree
by Colette Lewis, 13 February 2015

Lauren Embree had one of the most successful collegiate careers in Florida history, leading the Gators to back-to-back NCAA titles in 2011 and 2012. Now living in Santa Monica, Embree has begun the year on the USTA Pro Circuit, where she has competed in four tournaments in the past month. At the $100,000 Dow Corning Tennis Classic in Midland, Mich., last week, I spoke with her about her return from injury, what she misses about college tennis, and her goals for 2015 and beyond.

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Where Are They Now?
Marissa Irvin and A Magical Racquet Ride
by Marcia Frost, 8 December 2014

Marissa Irvin is one of those rare players who flawlessly made the transition from the top of the junior rankings to the head of the college rankings, and on to a fairly successful professional career. She can now add award-winning author to her resume, but the tennis book she wrote is not what you might expect.

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Where Are They Now?
An Interview with 2013 NCAA Champion and Rising ATP Star Blaz Rola
by Colette Lewis, 20 November 2014

Football may reign over the sports kingdom at Ohio State, but 2013 NCAA champion Blaz Rola has done his part to raise tennis's visibility in Columbus. Colette Lewis of ZooTennis talked with Rola at the Champaign, Illinois Challenger last week covered many topics, including his first year on tour, his decision to play college tennis, his plans for off-season training and his schedule for early next year.

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NCAA Champion Nicole Gibbs Moves Up
Nicole Gibbs won her first ITF Women's Circuit title at the age of 14, finished high school a year early and joined the Stanford Cardinal in the fall of 2010. After an illustrious career at Stanford where she won the NCAA team, singles, and doubles titles, Gibbs elected to forego her senior year and begin her professional career. Fresh off two main-draw wins at the US Open, Gibbs is now ranked in the Top 100. Colette Lewis of ZooTennis chatted with Gibbs at the Open.

Conversation with Former D-III Champion William Boe-Wiegaard
Former Bates standout William Boe-Wiegaard had one of the more amazing runs in NCAA Division III tennis. He is the only Bobcat ever to be an All-American all four years in college, and he capped things off with an amazing run to the NCAA singles title his senior year as an unseeded player. Since graduating, Boe-Wiegaard has been involved with tennis as an instructor, and he has been competing professionally since 2011. Harry Cicma of NBC Sports caught up with Boe-Wiegaard.

Conversation with UConn's Sam Sutherland
Stability has been a watchword of UConn tennis. Glenn Marshall, who now serves as Director of Tennis, has overseen the tennis programs for 21 years. Michael Louis '04 took over as head coach of the men's tennis program prior to the 2013-14 season. One of Louis' teammates as a player at UConn was sam Sutherland '05, a standout from Tampa, Fla. Harry Cicma of NBC Sports, who served as the commentator for the live webcast of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, caught up with Sutherland.

SFA Interviews Danielle Lao
Jake Hartman of SFA sat down with Danielle Lao a former USC women’s tennis player. Danielle is currently on the professional tennis tour, and she recently wrote a book about her college tennis experience titled The Invaluable Experience. She was interviewed about her recruiting process, how she chose USC, and how her time there has benefited her today.

Catching Up with Christi Turdo on College Tennis and the Invention of Hop-a-Razzi
Christi Turdo has been involved in tennis for over 30 years, from playing in the juniors, college and pros, to teaching young players. It was in the latter role that she also invented Hop-a-Razzi, a revolutionary basket that modernizes ball retrieval. From her office just outside Chicago, Turdo had a lot to say about choosing the right college, what she learned from the playing experience, and how Hop-a-Razzi came to be.

Catching Up with Megan Moulton-Levy
Megan Moulton-Levy is one of the most successful players to come out of William and Mary. She was a six-time All American, four-time CAA Player of the Year, and won the most singles and doubles (combined) matches in the school's history. She was also well-known for her demeanor on the court, and it was recognized twice with ITA National Arthur Ashe Awards for Leadership and Sportsmanship. She now plays doubles on the pro tour.

Former Cavaliers Huey and Inglot Reach ATP Doubles Heights
While teammates at the University of Virginia, Dom Inglot and Treat Huey never played doubles together. But several years later, their friendship led them to join forces on the ATP tour, where they are currently ranked 14th in world.

Catching Up with Rising Pro Star Ryan Harrison
In 2007, when Ryan Harrison and his younger brother Christian turned professional, there were many who criticized the move as too soon, but five years later there's no doubt that he's in the place he's supposed to be.

Don Johnson Brings Experience to Vstrator
Donald Johnson turned a successful college tennis career at North Carolina into a professional stint that brought him to the No. 1 doubles ranking in the world. Today, Johnson works at Vstrator, a company he helped found that provides video analysis tools for athletes and has great application to tennis.

Talking with Jay Goldman
Jay Goldman was a standout tennis player for the Arizona Wildcats between 2007 and 2011. At Arizona, Goldman competed primarily at the top of the lineup. Goldman traveled to Tucson following a storied junior career out of Worceser, Mass., and the IMG Academy Tennis Program. Harry Cicma got the opportunity to catch up with Goldman and discuss college tennis.

Canadian Levine Remains a Gator
Jesse Levine was a top U.S. junior who was on the cusp of turning professional when he decided to give college tennis a whirl. He brought his talent to Florida, where he was named ITA National Rookie of the Year before turning pro after his freshman year. Now ranked No. 97 in the world, Levine will compete for Canada in their Davis Cup quarterfinal tie against Italy next month.

Talking with Andrew Chmura
After success as a junior and college tennis player, Andrew Chmura has built an adult career around the game. Chmura competed on the satellite tour, has taught and encouraged tennis play, and he is currently the president of Grand Slam Tennis Tours. Harry Cicma caught up with Chmura to talk tennis - past and present.

Rhyne Williams Matures with the Vols and Hits Pro Circuit
As a junior tennis player, the two things Rhyne Williams was most known for was his superior talent and his wild temper. As an 18-year-old, Williams chose college tennis at Tennessee over professional tennis. After a successful run for the Volunteers as a sophomore - winning the Indoors and reaching the finals of the NCAA tournament - Williams felt the time was right to turn pro.

Life in the Pros for Christina McHale
Making the decision to turn professional is never easy for anyone. Christina McHale gave it a long consideration before making the move two years ago. Today, McHale has exceeded her career expectations. She's currently ranked 24 in the world, has represented the United States in the London Olympics, and has been a member of four Fed Cup teams.

Brian Baker's Comeback Captivates US Juniors
Ten years ago, Brian Baker was playing the Wimbledon Juniors with hopes and dreams for a professional tennis career. But a series of health issues dashed those dreams. Just over a year ago, at age 26, Baker finally felt ready to take another shot at professional tennis. After some early successes, Baker went through qualifying at Wimbledon without dropping a set, then won three more matches to bring his ATP ranking to 76.

Talking With Jesse Levine
If you've followed American junior and college tennis over the past few years, you probably recognize the name Jesse Levine. After a stellar junior career, Levine played college tennis at Florida, where he was named ITA Rookie of the Year while leading the team to the round of 16 and making the quarters in both singles and doubles. Harry Cicma of NBC Sports sat down with the former Gator and current ATP pro.

Eric Butorac Makes Huge Statement for Division III
Junior players who are focused on turning professional almost always look exclusively at NCAA Division I schools when they are considering colleges. But playing in another division doesn't have to mean you don't stand a chance of having a career in pro tennis. Eric Butorac is one player who has proven that.

Talking With Florida's Ryan Sherry
In college tennis, all six singles matches have the same value. Just ask Ryan Sherry, who played for the Florida Gators from 2002 through 2006. As a junior, Sherry posted a 23-2 record at No. 6 singles. He had the distinction of clinching every match for the Gators at the 2005 SEC Tournament in Athens, Ga., and he was named the MVP of the event. Harry Cicma of NBC Sports recently sat down to talk with Sherry.

Taylor Dent: An Inspiration to Anyone
I love watching sports, I love playing sports, and I appreciate and respect athletes that play the game with energy, passion, and dedication. These are the values that I try and instill in my students and staff every single day at the IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy. Having Taylor Dent practicing on courts right next to them is a breath of fresh air to our students.

Harry Cicma Goes One-on-One with John Isner
American tennis fans - and college fans in particular - have loved watching the development of John Isner. He has made great strides in his game, and his rankings reflect that progress - since turning pro in 2007, his year-end ranking has gone from 106 (2007) to 144 (2008) to 34 (2009). He currently stands at No. 19, with hopes to climb higher. Harry Cicma recently chatted with Isner about college and pro tennis.

Catching Up with Sukhwa Young
Harry Cicma recently got the chance to sit down with Sukhwa Young, a former Georgia Tech player and ATP professional tennis player. Cicma and Young talked about junior, college, and professional tennis.

Catching Up with Vinay Bhamidipati
Harry Cicma recently got the chance to sit down with Vinay Bhamidipati, a former New Jersey high school state champion who went on to play college tennis at Columbia. Cicma and Bhamidipati talked about junior and college tennis, life after competitive tennis, and how tennis has helped prepare him for life.

Former Rutgers Captain Greg Schweitzer
Greg Schweitzer served as captain and played #1 at Rutgers University. After a successful college career, Schweitzer went on to earn a #75 world doubles ranking on the ATP tour. Harry Cicma caught up with Schweitzer to talk about his career, the significance of Rutgers and NCAA tennis, and advice he would give to junior tennis players today.

Q&A with Carlos Brandon Florez
For freshman Carlos Brandon Florez, opportunity came knocking almost as soon as he donned the Saluki maroon and white in fall 2009. The number one player of the team graduated and the next in line was out with an injury. Ali Jones caught up with Florez during the holiday break to talk tennis, school, and his new life away from his family.

WTA Tour Player Julie Ditty Looks Back on Vanderbilt With Fond Memories
If you are going to miss your induction into your alma mater's Hall of Fame, competing in the US Open certainly qualifies as a valid excuse. Former Vanderbilt star and current WTA Tour player Julie Ditty was competing in the main draw of the women's doubles event at the US Open during her scheduled induction ceremony, so Ditty's family accepted the award on her behalf.

Where Are They Now? Paul Goldstein
Few Kalamazoo competitors are remembered as fondly as Paul Goldstein, who won three consecutive singles titles at the USTA Boys Nationals, winning the 16s in 1992, and the 18s in 1993 and 1994. Add a doubles title with Scott Humphries in 1994, and his sportsmanship award in 1992, and it's little wonder Goldstein was welcomed like an old friend when he returned to Kalamazoo several weeks ago for the professional exhibition that opens the event.

Conversation with Devin Britton
A year ago, Devin Britton was a Blue Chip senior in the Class of 2009. After heading to Ole Miss in January to play the college dual season, Britton is now the reigning NCAA singles champion - and he recently made the decision to turn pro. Harry Cicma of NBC News caught up with Britton to reflect on his recent past and look forward to the U.S. Open.

Interview with "The Big Bozz"
Last week I got to spend a couple days with "The Big Bozz" - former Illini and NCAA Champion Amer Delic - at beautiful Amelia National Country Club in Amelia Island, Fla. A couple days of training, golf, and family time, helped the big guy recharge the batteries and get the body to a higher tennis fitness level.

1998 NCAA Champion Vanessa Webb
Vanessa Webb constantly looked for challenges as a young tennis player: she was the NCAA women's singles champion in 1998, and she won ten titles on the ITF women's circuit en route to a Top-100 ranking. That same drive has led to success in the boardroom - where the Duke and Wharton graduate already has a number of accomplishments in international business. McCarton Ackerman caught up with Webb to reflect on her tennis career and current endeavors.

Max Mirnyi - A Tall Tale of Success
Max Mirnyi has been training at the Academy for seventeen years, and he's left a footprint here at least the size of our 300 acres. The 6'5" Belarusian has been such a fixture here at the Academy for so long that he is considered family. Young players all look up to him (literally and figuratively) when he shows up to practice. Veteran players, coaches, staff, all respect and admire his talents and his character. But, I can remember when Max wasn't so tall or recognizable.

Conversation with John Isner
One of the best stories in American tennis over the past year is that of John Isner. Hot on the heels of leading Georgia to a national championship, Isner has had great success on the pro tour. Isner won a string of three-set matches to reach the final of the Legg Mason against Andy Roddick, and he followed that up by reaching the third round of the US Open. Isner's successes have shined a bright light on college tennis. Today, Isner takes time out to talk about his recent success.

Conversation with West Nott
One of the most popular contributors at TennisRecruiting.net is West Nott. West has something insightful to say on every tennis topic because he has done it all: competed at the junior, collegiate, and professional levels... played Davis Cup... coached both junior and college athletes... and covered tennis as a member of the media. And he is only in his mid-twenties. West took the time to talk with us about his past accomplishments.

Who's Driving the Bus? Talking with Andrew Park
An undeniable love and competitive passion for the game are two intangible qualities of all great players, and Andrew Park showcases all of these qualities. Andrew exhibited championship success at every stage in his career - junior, collegiate, and professional. In short, he captured the USTA Boys' 18 Hardcourt Nationals at Kalamazoo, won a NCAA Team Championship with USC, and competed in the Main Draw of the Men's US Open.

Moving Up With Nick Monroe
For my money, it doesn't get much better than 24 year-old Nick Monroe. Nick is the quintessential definition of perseverance and willingness to change - all rolled into one. The former UNC standout has seen progression in his game from a young age to where it is today, only 198 ranking spots shy of the top 100 ATP.

Conversation with Ken Kigongo
Everyone in tennis seems to have an opinion about whether the top junior players should opt to play college tennis or jump straight to the professional ranks. One interesting voice in the crowd is that of Ken Kigongo - the former standout at Michigan State. I got to chat with Kigongo this summer about all things tennis - but especially his decision to get his college degree.

Conversation with Jewel Peterson
One of the most decorated players in the history of the USC tennis program is Jewel Peterson (College Park, Georgia). Peterson led USC to the NCAA quarterfinals three different times - and to four season-end rankings of #11 or higher. She was a four-time ITA All-American, a two-time Academic All-American, and she reached the semifinals of the NCAA singles championships. We caught up with Peterson last month.

Al Parker: A Most Amazing and Courageous Athlete
Back injuries have hampered or terminated the careers of many a great tennis player, like world champions Jack Kramer, Tony Trabert and Lew Hoad. They also impacted the winningest U.S. junior player of all time - Georgia's Middleton Albert (Al) Parker, Jr. Parker won a still-standing record of 25 USTA junior titles (13 in doubles and 12 in singles).

Conversation with Cary Franklin
In this month's "Where Are They Now?" article, we catch up with former University of Illinois standout Cary Franklin. As a junior player in the mid-90's, Franklin climbed as high as #30 in the Boys 18s, winning the doubles event at the USTA International Grasscourts with partner Eddie Coates. Franklin played his college tennis at Illinois, where he was a three-time All-American.

Conversation with Erin Burdette
In this month's Where Are They Now? article, we catch up with Stanford University standout Erin Burdette. During her junior career, Burdette was ranked as high as #1 in the USTA standings, finishing her career in the top 10. Burdette went on to garner All-American honors four times at Stanford - where she won NCAA championships in both doubles and the team competition.

Conversation with Lesley Joseph
Our first conversation is with 23-year-old Lesley Joseph who attended the University of Georgia from 1999 to 2003. As a junior, Joseph attained rankings of #2 (USTA Boys 16s), #5 (USTA Boys 18s), and Top 50 (ITF). He is currently playing tennis professionally on the ATP Circuit.

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Karim Hossam- ATA Athlete
A quick interview with ATA's Karim Hossam before he heads off to Florida to play in the Orange Bowl in Florida.
3/26 Claremont ITF Grade 4 Semifinals Set; Fritz, Tiafoe and Stewart Reach Pro Circuit Quarterfinals; Teens Continue to Impress in Miami
3/25 ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championships Wild Cards; Good Day for Americans at Miami Open; Pro Circuit Update
3/24 Looking Back at Ten Years at the Grade 1 in Carson; Bellis Wins First Round Match at Miami Open; Southern Cal Women Take Over Top Spot in ITA Rankings
3/23 Neel Gets Top 100 Win in Miami Open Qualifying; Clark Wins Second Straight ITF Grade 4; California ITF Junior Circuit Gets Underway in Claremont
3/22 Tiafoe, Liu Win Pro Circuit Titles; Arconada Claims Grade A Singles Championship in Brazil; Oklahoma Tops Baylor for BNP Collegiate Challenge Title; Miami Open Draws

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