Black History Month Profile:
Erin Maher | February 27, 2018
In celebration of Black History Month, USTA.com is taking a look at several talented, young African-American players who are following in the footsteps of pioneering players like Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe and the Williams sisters and seem ready to make their own mark in tennis. Here is a look at Taylor Townsend.
Twenty-one-year-old Taylor Townsend reached a career-high WTA ranking of No. 89 in January and is currently ranked 95th in the world. The former top-ranked junior turned pro at the end of 2012 and has since won a total of 21 USTA Pro Circuit and ITF Circuit titles and competed in all four Grand Slam tournaments. Here's more on the native of Chicago.
Current rank: 95
- Townsend is a former world junior No. 1 and a four-time junior Grand Slam champion. ADVERTISEMENT In 2012, she clinched the year-end ITF No. 1 world junior ranking, becoming the first American girl to hold that position since Gretchen Rush in 1982. Also in 2012, she won the Australian Open junior singles and doubles titles, as well as the junior doubles titles at the US Open and Wimbledon.
- Since turning pro at the end of 2012, Townsend has captured six USTA Pro Circuit singles titles, including three last year, at the $80,000 event in Waco, Texas, and the $25,000 tournaments in Sumter, S.C., and Florence, S.C. She has also won 15 USTA Pro Circuit/ITF Pro Circuit doubles titles to date in her career.
- Townsend has made four consecutive appearances in the main draw of the French Open. She won the USTA Pro Circuit Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge twice, in 2014 and 2016, to earn wild cards into the year's second major. She advanced to the third round of the 2016 French Open for her career-best Grand Slam result.
- Townsend initially started playing tennis with her right hand but, two years later, converted to being a lefty. She cites 18-time Grand Slam singles champion Martina Navratilova and American Donald Young as her fellow southpaw inspirations.
- In 2017, Townsend told Tennis Channel that the US Open was her favorite tournament and shared her most memorable match on the hard courts of Flushing Meadows. "As a player, I think the most memorable moment for me was playing Serena [Williams] in the second night match on Ashe. That was an unbelievable experience. Just completely a different atmosphere, completely different environment."