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American Collegians in the Pros

2019 brings triumph for many players

Taylor Linton  |  February 7, 2019

Both current and former American tennis collegians have had a great start to pro tournaments in 2019. With the Australian Open finishing up and many WTA, ATP and ITF events going on throughout the world, many players have brought home victories.

Jennifer Brady (UCLA): Brady reached the semifinals in doubles at the Australian Open with partner Alison Riske. Immediately after, Brady began playing in the WTA Toyota Thailand Open, where she not only qualified, but defeated world No. 19 Caroline Garcia in the first round. (UPDATE: Soon after, Brady qualified for the WTA Premier 5 in Dubai and defeated world No. 22 Jelena Ostapenko and then Garcia again to reach the round of 16. Brady then reached the finals of the Indian Wells $125K.)

Hayley Carter (UNC) and Ena Shibahara (UCLA): Carter and Shibahara won the women’s doubles title at the Oracle Challenger Series in Newport Beach, Calif. The duo has played numerous ITF matches together, winning three titles last year. They were also on Team USA’s title-winning squad at the 2016 Master’U BNP Paribas collegiate tournament.

Danielle Collins (Virginia): A member of the gold-medal-winning Team USA squad at the Master’U event in 2015, Collins had never won a grand slam main-draw match before arriving in Melbourne for the Australian Open. That quickly changed as she battled to the women’s singles semifinals, bringing her to a Top-25 ranking. Collins was then named a member of the U.S. Fed Cup team for the second time in January.

Maxime Cressy (UCLA): Cressy, a senior at UCLA, brought home the win at the ATP Challenger event in Cleveland on Feb 3. Cressy won the final in a 6-7, 7-6, 6-3 decision against Mikael Torpegaard.

Robert Galloway (Wofford) and Nathaniel Lammons (SMU): Galloway and Lammons won the men’s doubles title at the Oracle Challenger Series in Newport Beach. This was Galloway and Lammons’ first time playing in a Challenger final, and the duo snagged the victory by winning 7-5, 7-6.

Marcos Giron (UCLA): Giron delivered a win on the ATP Challenger Tour in early January at the Orlando Open at the USTA National Campus. Giron lost just one set en route to the final, where he upset top seed Darian King. (UPDATE: Giron went on to reach the semifinals of the Cleveland Challenger and qualify for the ATP Masters 1000 at Indian Wells where he reached the round of 32. He also won the Indian Wells Challenger doubles title with former Virginia product J.C. Aragone).

Brandon Holt (USC): Holt, who currently plays collegiate tennis at USC, helped take the gold for Team USA at the Master’U BNP Paribas Collegiate Tournament in France in November. Just two months later, Holt strung together five straight wins to capture the trophy at the ITF World Tennis Tour M25 event in Los Angeles trophy and three ATP points.  

Govind Nanda (UCLA): The UCLA freshman won his first pro tournament, at the ITF World Tennis Tour M25 event in Tuscon, Ariz. Nanda captured the trophy thanks to a three-set win over former UCLA standout Martin Redlicki in the final.

Rajeev Ram (Illinois): Ram went pro after his sophomore year at University of Illinois, where his team achieved a 32-0 season in 2003. The Olympic silver medalist recently won the mixed doubles title with partner Barbora Krejcikova at the Australian Open on Jan. 26, earning his first Grand Slam championship.

JJ Wolf (Ohio State): Wolf, who currently plays collegiate tennis at Ohio State, represented the Buckeyes by winning the January ATP Columbus Challenger. This accomplishment allowed Wolf to jump in the ATP’s Top 300.