Have there been any ATP or WTA players who went to Ivy schools ?

dannythomas

Semi-Pro
There are obviously very few successful pro players ( top 150 ) who went to college first , though the numbers do seem to be increasing slowly. Would you say that going to an Ivy School with less intense match competition spells the end of those ambitions for any aspiring young pro player ? Obviously there was James Blake on the men’s side but I’m not aware of any others and none at all on the WTA .
 

jcgatennismom

Professional
More talented players are choosing Ivys so there could be more Ivy pros in the Future. The fourth highest ranked current US college player for ATP points after JJ Wolf, Alex Rybakov, and Patrick Kypson is Alafia Ayeni who is a soph at Cornell. He was ranked as high as #27 in the world for junior ITF. Another Ivy player to watch is Brian Shi, Harvard freshman. He beat Sam Riffice, top FL freshman rated about ATP 700 at a Future this summer. Brian reached the QFs of a Mexican Future and won several US main draw matches. However, Ivy players will be at a disadvantage as they wont be able to take off the fall for tennis like some other college players. With the transition tour changes and reduced draws, the quantity of tournaments played will matter; it wont be enough to do well in playing just a few unless those few are challengers. Transition tour ranking will be based on best 14 results, and ATP ranking on best 18 results. Many college players will struggle to play that many tournaments; if they dont, they may not be able to get in tournaments. Many Power schools host Futures or Challengers so they have WCs to offer to their players. Harvard did host one Future in August. Ivy players will have a harder time getting the WCs. However, the type of player who chooses an Ivy has already set a priority of academics over tennis even if his/her tennis is high level. To have a high ranking, college players either have to take fall off or take online courses and put tennis before academics. The players who balance both tennis and academics may have a good ITA career but may end up stuck in the qualifiers of $15 and $25ks.
 

JW10S

Hall of Fame
While Harvard and Princeton have had some pretty good teams in the past most Ivy Leagues don't have particularly strong teams. That along with the fact that they don't have a schedule of opponents that is as strong as a lot of other D1 schools and conferences probably keep players with pro aspirations from looking at the Ivy League. Which is why there have been few pros from them in past and will probably make future players with pro aspirations look elsewhere except for the rare exception here and there.
 

tlsmikey

New User
Ivy league schools have one major disadvantage for up and coming players....that is, they don't provide scholarships. Tennis will get you into the school, but when other schools like Stanford and big name schools are offering full rides, it's hard to get any top level talent to those schools.
 

UpOrDown

New User
While Harvard and Princeton have had some pretty good teams in the past most Ivy Leagues don't have particularly strong teams. That along with the fact that they don't have a schedule of opponents that is as strong as a lot of other D1 schools and conferences probably keep players with pro aspirations from looking at the Ivy League. Which is why there have been few pros from them in past and will probably make future players with pro aspirations look elsewhere except for the rare exception here and there.
I am not a big fan of The Ivy League but this is an ignorant comment. The Ivy League has become one of the best tennis conferences in the country. This year 6 of the 8 teams in the conference were ranked in the final ITA Rankings...Columbia (15), Dartmouth (31), Harvard (33), Cornell (48), Princeton (53) and Penn (60).

Over the last few years, Ivy teams have beaten numerous teams from power conferences. This past season Columbia beat Ok St, Ole Miss (twice), Vandy, SMU (though SMU was not very good this year) and UVA. They played 17 matches against ranked teams. In 2017 they beat TCU (#9) and Purdue (NCAA's 1st round) and in 2016 they beat Stanford (#7), Minnesota (#27) and Vandy (#21). Also, Columbia has been in the Sweet 16 three out of the past five years. They have also qualified for the National Indoors three out of the last five years.

Also this past season: Harvard beat Ok State (1st round NCAA's), Texas Tech, Memphis, Northwestern, South Florida, Old Dominion, Auburn and Utah; ....Dartmouth beat Indiana, Louisville, Minnesota, Rice and Wichita State;...Princeton beat Rice, Auburn and South Florida;...Cornell beat Iowa, Oregon, Wichita State and Penn State;...Penn beat Penn State.

Other notables: In 2017, Dartmouth beat LSU, Cornell beat Oklahoma (16) on the road, Wisconsin (56) on the road, Wichita State (71) on the road, Rice (NCAA's 1st round), Clemson (64), BYU (67), Tennessee (18) and Penn State (52) on the road.

In 2016, Harvard beat Vandy (#21) and ODU (37), Cornell beat Indiana (47), Princeton beat Memphis (25), Penn St (52), Indiana (47) and Iowa (57).
 

dannythomas

Semi-Pro
I am not a big fan of The Ivy League but this is an ignorant comment. The Ivy League has become one of the best tennis conferences in the country. This year 6 of the 8 teams in the conference were ranked in the final ITA Rankings...Columbia (15), Dartmouth (31), Harvard (33), Cornell (48), Princeton (53) and Penn (60).

Over the last few years, Ivy teams have beaten numerous teams from power conferences. This past season Columbia beat Ok St, Ole Miss (twice), Vandy, SMU (though SMU was not very good this year) and UVA. They played 17 matches against ranked teams. In 2017 they beat TCU (#9) and Purdue (NCAA's 1st round) and in 2016 they beat Stanford (#7), Minnesota (#27) and Vandy (#21). Also, Columbia has been in the Sweet 16 three out of the past five years. They have also qualified for the National Indoors three out of the last five years.

Also this past season: Harvard beat Ok State (1st round NCAA's), Texas Tech, Memphis, Northwestern, South Florida, Old Dominion, Auburn and Utah; ....Dartmouth beat Indiana, Louisville, Minnesota, Rice and Wichita State;...Princeton beat Rice, Auburn and South Florida;...Cornell beat Iowa, Oregon, Wichita State and Penn State;...Penn beat Penn State.

Other notables: In 2017, Dartmouth beat LSU, Cornell beat Oklahoma (16) on the road, Wisconsin (56) on the road, Wichita State (71) on the road, Rice (NCAA's 1st round), Clemson (64), BYU (67), Tennessee (18) and Penn State (52) on the road.

In 2016, Harvard beat Vandy (#21) and ODU (37), Cornell beat Indiana (47), Princeton beat Memphis (25), Penn St (52), Indiana (47) and Iowa (57).
I don’t think you will see much comparable to these achievements( which I assume are all men’s results ) by Women’s Ivy League schools.
 

Nacho

Professional
Ivy league tennis is quite the disappointment for tennis players IMO. I say this because they have their pick of 5 star and blue chip recruits who use tennis to get in there, but many of them just don't develop past the team. Some of the coaches do very little recruitment or team building, just simply cherry pick good students and 5 star recruits. Sure you can find examples of some players as listed above, but the heart of your question is an answer that confirms: as talented as the players are going into the IVY league, very few come out into the pro circuits; at least in any impactful way. Why this is? Well going to an IVY league school is as strong a commitment to learning as it is to tennis, and the coaching and players go in with the mindset that its "student" Athlete first, and not the other way around. I don't think the coaches are given the opportunity to bend the practices or train students the way some of the bigger name schools do. A few coaches out there have griped that the Northeast schools are the ones that pushed for the No-Ad system in college tennis order to make their schools more competitive because they were limited on practice time, but I would have to research this further to believe thats the case or see if the results speak to this.

With that said I would agree that some of the schools are very talented and have traditionally made some noise in the NCAA's (Harvard, Cornell, Dartmouth, Columbia, and Yale especially). Columbia has been really good lately. There may be some on these forums that argue their setback is they play indoors most of the year, but I don't think thats the reason, or, that the schools don't have the resources to overcome this.
 

strike1

New User
I can only speak to the men's side, but Ivy tennis is changing, and becoming much stronger. Keep an eye on Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth and Harvard over the next few years, with Princeton and Penn probably right behind them. Ivy teams are allowed less training and competition days than other D1 programs but are still managing to recruit top players and compete against other top D1 programs. At nationals next week, out of a 64 draw, Columbia, Cornell, and Dartmouth all have a player in singles and Columbia also has a team in dubs (out of a 32 team draw), as well as a team on the alternates list. I think those numbers will go up in future years.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
I can only speak to the men's side, but Ivy tennis is changing, and becoming much stronger. Keep an eye on Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth and Harvard over the next few years, with Princeton and Penn probably right behind them. Ivy teams are allowed less training and competition days than other D1 programs but are still managing to recruit top players and compete against other top D1 programs. At nationals next week, out of a 64 draw, Columbia, Cornell, and Dartmouth all have a player in singles and Columbia also has a team in dubs (out of a 32 team draw), as well as a team on the alternates list. I think those numbers will go up in future years.
Matija Pecotic was fun to watch.

J
 

dannythomas

Semi-Pro
Ivy league tennis is quite the disappointment for tennis players IMO. I say this because they have their pick of 5 star and blue chip recruits who use tennis to get in there, but many of them just don't develop past the team. Some of the coaches do very little recruitment or team building, just simply cherry pick good students and 5 star recruits. Sure you can find examples of some players as listed above, but the heart of your question is an answer that confirms: as talented as the players are going into the IVY league, very few come out into the pro circuits; at least in any impactful way. Why this is? Well going to an IVY league school is as strong a commitment to learning as it is to tennis, and the coaching and players go in with the mindset that its "student" Athlete first, and not the other way around. I don't think the coaches are given the opportunity to bend the practices or train students the way some of the bigger name schools do. A few coaches out there have griped that the Northeast schools are the ones that pushed for the No-Ad system in college tennis order to make their schools more competitive because they were limited on practice time, but I would have to research this further to believe thats the case or see if the results speak to this.

With that said I would agree that some of the schools are very talented and have traditionally made some noise in the NCAA's (Harvard, Cornell, Dartmouth, Columbia, and Yale especially). Columbia has been really good lately. There may be some on these forums that argue their setback is they play indoors most of the year, but I don't think thats the reason, or, that the schools don't have the resources to overcome this.
Yes, all agreed. But the academics at , say, Stanford are as demanding as they are at any Ivy School and more demanding than some. Duke and Vanderbilt are demanding too. So I don’t think you can blame it entirely on that. Obviously they don’t give athletics scholarships at Ivy but there are of course significant reductions in the costs for most student athletes depending on needs. But maybe it’s more to do with the structure of the programs rather than academic demands.
 
D

Deleted member 293577

Guest
I don't think the majority of people that go to Ivy League schools to play tennis think of becoming pro as their primary aspiration. They value their education first. I didn't realize they didn't offer athletic scholarships, but those schools are wealthy and can offer other types of scholarships and grants for those that need it.

The question of whether or not going to an Ivy league school is kind of irrelevant. Because I believe that if someone really wants to become a pro player, they should skip school completely and start training full-time.
 
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