USTA announces 2021 Collegiate Summer Team
Ten of the best college players in the country will travel the USTA Pro Circuit this summer as the 2021 Collegiate Summer Team, an initiative by the USTA to support elite NCAA athletes as they test the waters on the professional tour.
The group, consisting of five men and five women from the below universities, will compete at select events this summer on the ATP Challenger and ITF World Tennis Tours.
The men's team includes William Blumberg, North Carolina (Sr., Greenwich, Conn.); Cannon Kingsley, Ohio State (Soph., Northport, N.Y.); Aleks Kovacevic, Illinois (Sr., New York); John McNally, Ohio State (Sr., Cincinnati); and Sam Riffice, Florida (Jr., Orlando, Fla.). Sara Daavettila, UNC (Sr., Williamston, Mich.); Abbey Forbes, UCLA (Soph., Raleigh, N.C.); Emma Navarro, Virginia (Fr., Charleston, S.C.); Alexa Noel, Iowa (Fr., Summit, N.J.); and Peyton Stearns, Texas (Fr., Mason, Ohio) make up the women's team.
Virginia sophomore Natasha Subhash was eligible for the team but is unable to compete due to injury.
Each of the players was selected based on their ATP or WTA singles ranking or a combination of their pro and ITA singles rankings and their Universal Tennis Rating, and they will receive a travel grant and coaching support at select Pro Circuit events this summer.
On the program, Martin Blackman, GM, USTA Player and Coach Development said: “The USTA continues to recognize and support collegiate tennis as a viable part of the professional player pathway and is committed to providing the top American collegiate players with developmental and competitive opportunities."
The men's players will be accompanied by Tulane head coach Mark Booras and North Carolina State assistant coach Cris James, while Texas associate head coach Taylor Fogelman and Minnesota assistant coach Meghan Kelly will guide the women. All four coaches will provide assistance to any American collegians playing at any of the designated events.
The full tournament schedule began last week in Tulsa, Okla., and Sumter, S.C., and has already paid dividends: Stearns, fresh off helping the Texas Longhorns win the NCAA national team championship, won her first professional title in South Carolina. The rising sophomore lost just one set and 24 games in five matches.
The women are continuing this week at the $60,000 event in Charleston, S.C., and both teams will play again at two weeks of events in both July and August as outlined below.
Week of July 19: ATP Challenger 80 - Cary, N.C.; M25 - Edwardsville, Ill.; W25 - Evansville, Ind.
Week of July 26: ATP Challenger 80 - Lexington, Ky.
Week of August 2: M25 - Decatur, Ill.
Week of August 9: W100 - Landisville, Pa.