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2011 Year in Review: USTA Pro Circuit

December 8, 2011 11:22 PM
For 33 years, the USTA Pro Circuit has served as the pathway to tour and Grand Slam events, teaching young players what it takes to become professionals all while delivering top-level tennis to local communities throughout the United States. Annually, the USTA Pro Circuit hosts roughly 90 events and awards nearly $3 million in prize money, making it the largest developmental professional tennis circuit in the world.

In 2011, it played host to the most promising young faces in American tennis—and some returning stars, as well. The men who used the USTA Pro Circuit as a springboard to the top 100 included Ryan Harrison, Ryan Sweeting and Donald Young, while the female quartet of Irina Falconi, Christina McHale, Sloane Stephens and CoCo Vandeweghe—none older than 21 when the year began—did the same.

"The USTA Pro Circuit has long been a place where young pros can mature and develop into the next generation of stars," says Brian Earley, Director, USTA Pro Circuit. "We’re very proud of our efforts. And best of all, we continue to grow the USTA Pro Circuit in a way that will benefit American tennis for years to come."

Champions who got their start on the USTA Pro Circuit include Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Lindsay Davenport, Justine Henin and Pete Sampras, as well as current stars such as Mardy Fish, Andy Roddick and Caroline Wozniacki, plus Andy Murray, Victoria Azarenka, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Samantha Stosur and Maria Sharapova. In all, USTA Pro Circuit graduates have combined for more than 50 Grand Slam tournament singles titles, and 16 USTA Pro Circuit veterans have risen to No. 1 in the world.

Among the many young phenoms who will take to the courts at USTA Pro Circuit events throughout the country in 2012 are Jack Sock and Madison Keys, who this year became the youngest player (16 years old) to win a US Open match since 2005. Throw in other young talents, such as 2011 NCAA champion Steve Johnson and NCAA runner-up Rhyne Williams, as well as Denis Kudla, Jamie Hampton, Jessica Pegula, Alison Riske and four-time USTA Pro Circuit singles champion Lauren Davis, who earned her way into the main draws of the Australian Open and the US Open in 2011, and the future is bright for American tennis—and for the USTA Pro Circuit.


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