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TEMPE, AZ – It was another historic year for both current and former collegiate athletes on the ATP and WTA Tours in 2023, as players with collegiate ties were crowned grand slam champions, topped world rankings, and broke records that have been in place for over 50 years.

With the pathway from college tennis to the professional tours having never been clearer after the groundbreaking announcements of the ATP Accelerator Programme as well as the WTA Accelerator Programme earlier in the year, thousands of current and former players showcased their skills on the ATP, WTA, and ITF Tours this past year as nearly every pro tournament now has ties back to college tennis.

Beginning on the biggest of stages, it was a historic year for collegians at Grand Slam Champions as nine Grand Slam Titles were won by collegians in 2023 and over 400 spots in the singles, doubles, and mixed doubles main draws were filled by players who spent time in college or currently play college tennis.

At the Australian Open, Ben Shelton (Florida) and JJ Wolf (Ohio State) both made deep runs in the men’s singles draw. Facing off in the fourth round, Shelton would get the better hand of Wolf to advance to the Quarterfinals where he would eventually fall to fellow American, Tommy Paul. With his run to the Quarterfinals, Shelton became the first NCAA Singles Champion to reach the following year’s Australian Open Quarterfinals of a Grand Slam since Arthur Ashe Jr. did so in 1966.

Danielle Collins (Florida/Virginia) was the last-standing women’s singles player as the former NCAA Singles Champion reached the third round after reaching the finals in 2022. Meanwhile, Diana Shnaider (NC State) won her first Grand Slam main draw match at the Australian Open as the Wolfpack freshman took down Kristina Kucova in the first round before coming up just short in three sets against Maria Sakkari in the second round.

In doubles, three former collegians reached the finals of their respective draws as Rinky Hijikata (North Carolina) won the men’s doubles title alongside Jason Kubler, Luisa Stefani (Pepperdine) won the mixed doubles title alongside Rafael Matos, and Ena Shibahara (UCLA) finished as a finalist in the women’s doubles draw alongside Shuko Aoyama. For Hijikata and Stefani, the championship marked the first Grand Slam doubles titles of their careers.

Following this up with the French Open, players with college ties reached at least the third round in both men’s and women’s singles while in doubles, five players competed for Grand Slam titles across both men’s doubles and mixed doubles.

Starting with men’s doubles, Austin Krajicek (Texas A&M) alongside partner Ivan Dodig, took down Sander Gille (ETSU) and Joran Vliegen (East Carolina) in the finals to finally take home the clay court crown after finishing as runners-up last year. This Grand Slam Championship marked the first in Krajicek’s career and helped Krajicek accumulate important rankings points which he would gather enough of to be named the year-end No. 1 in the ATP Doubles Rankings just a few weeks ago.

From the mixed doubles draw, two former collegians, Tim Puetz (Auburn) and Michael Venus (LSU/Texas), squared off in the finals with Puetz taking home the title in the end with partner Miyu Kato. The win marked the first Grand Slam Championship in Puetz’s career, and it also marked the third straight French Open Mixed Doubles Champion with at least one player with ties to college tennis.

Moving on to Wimbledon, Chris Eubanks (Georgia Tech) became a household name after his quarterfinal run in the men’s singles draw. Meanwhile, Neal Skupski (LSU) was crowned a Grand Slam Champion in men’s doubles, and Joran Vliegen (East Carolina) finished as a finalist in the mixed doubles draw.

First for Eubanks, the rise to stardom came quickly for the Atlanta native as before 2023 he had never once cracked the ATP Top 100 and had never advanced past the second round at any Grand Slam over his professional career. However, at Wimbledon, Eubanks put together his best stretch of play to date, taking down Cam Norrie (12) and Stefanos Tsitsipas (5), amongst others, to reach the final eight where he would drop a close five-set match to Daniil Medvedev (3). Eubanks set a new Wimbledon record for the most winners hit during the Championship and caught the attention of the whole world, doing interviews with Good Morning America, while outlets like the New York Times and Sports Illustrated were covering his astounding run.

As the fifth former collegian to win a Grand Slam title in the calendar year, Skupski would win his first men’s doubles Grand Slam title at Wimbledon alongside Wesley Koolhof. Having found success at Wimbledon in the past, 2021 and 2021 Wimbledon Mixed Doubles Champion, Skupski showcased his skill on the grass courts once again in 2023 as he continues to stay atop the ATP doubles rankings.

Finally, at the US Open, collegians arguably had their best results out of any slam over the calendar year with players reaching at least the round of sixteen in both men’s and women’s singles, while four other former collegians were crowned Grand Slam Champions across the men’s, women’s, and mixed doubles draws.

Beginning with Singles, Ben Shelton once again shined in the men’s singles draw reaching the semifinals, while fellow 2022 NCAA Singles Champion, Peyton Stearns (Texas), had her deepest run in a Grand Slam reaching the round of sixteen. For Shelton, he became just the fifth former NCAA Singles Champion to reach the singles semifinals of a Grand Slam, while Stearns was just the sixth former NCAA Singles Champion to reach the women’s singles fourth round at the US Open.

There was even more history rewritten in doubles as Rajeev Ram (Illinois) and Joe Salisbury (Memphis) became the first duo in US Open history to win three straight men’s doubles titles. As one of the most dominant doubles teams in the world over the past five years, Ram and Salisbury have now won four Grand Slams together as well as numerous ATP 500 & 1000 level events.

In women’s doubles, Erin Routliffe (Alabama) alongside partner Gabriela Dabrowski took home the women’s doubles title. For Routliffe, this marked her first Grand Slam title as she had previously only reached the Quarterfinals in a Grand Slam before this run at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center. Routliffe used this title to help propel her to a career-high doubles ranking as she is now the highest ranked former collegian in the WTA Doubles Rankings.

The final title in Flushing Meadows came from Anna Danilina (Florida) who won her first Grand Slam title alongside Harri Heliövaara. Coming up just short at the Australian Open in 2022, Danillina made the most of this opportunity, beating the top seeds in the final to claim the title. Her victory marked the third straight year in which a collegian had been apart of the championship duo.

Across all ATP and WTA Tour competitions in 2023, players with college ties won four ATP Singles Titles, 22 WTA Doubles Titles, and 50 ATP Doubles Titles highlighted by Ram (Illinois) and Salisbury’s (Memphis) ATP Finals Doubles Title, Cam Norrie’s (TCU) ATP 500 Rio Open Singles Title, and Collins (Florida/Virginia) and Krawczyk’s (Arizona State) WTA 500 Charleston Open Doubles Title.

Additionally, at the ATP Challenger level, 16 former collegians have accounted for 24 ATP Challenger Titles in 2023 with Aleksandar Kovacevic (Illinois) (4) and Nuno Borges (Mississippi State) (3) accounting for the most titles.

In total, there are over 70 players with college ties ranked in the year-end Top 100 ATP/WTA Singles and Doubles Rankings. To see a full list of players in the year-end top 100 continue reading below:

ATP Singles Top 100 Year-End Rankings

17Ben SheltonFlorida
18Cameron NorrieTCU
21Francisco CerundoloSouth Carolina
34Christopher EubanksGeorgia Tech
41Mackenzie McDonaldUCLA
52Yannick HanfmannUSC
53J.J. WolfOhio State
60Marcos GironUCLA
62Aleksandar VukicIllinois
71Rinky HijikataNorth Carolina
72Borna GojoWake Forest
77Dominik KoepferTulane
78Nuno BorgesMississippi State
96Arthur RinderknechTexas A&M

WTA Singles Top 100 Year-End Rankings

32Emma NavarroVirginia
49Peyton StearnsTexas
53Danielle CollinsVirginia
59Mayar SherifPepperdine
88Emina BektasMichigan
89Diana ShnaiderNC State

ATP Doubles Top 100 Year-End Rankings

1Austin KrajicekTexas A&M
6Rajeev RamIllinois
7Joe SalisburyMemphis
9Neal SkupskiLSU
16Michael VenusLSU
18Jean-Julien RojerUCLA
19Marcelo ArevaloTulsa
20Jan ZielinskiGeorgia
22Jackson WithrowTexas A&M
23Rinky HijikataNorth Carolina
24Tim PuetzAuburn
25Sander GilleETSU
25Joran VliegenEast Carolina
27Nathaniel LammonsSMU
31Lloyd GlasspoolTexas
33Andreas MiesAuburn
34Sadio DoumbiaGeorgia
39John PeersMiddle Tennessee, Baylor
44Aleksandr NedovyesovOklahoma State
48Robert GallowayWofford
49Julian CashMississippi St., Oklahoma St.
51Gonzalo EscobarTexas Tech
61Reese StalderTCU
63Hendrik JebensSan Diego State
65Henry PattenUNC Asheville
66Constantin FrantzenBaylor
68Andre GoranssonCalifornia
71Mackenzie McDonaldUCLA
74Evan KingMichigan
78John-Patrick SmithTennessee
79Ben McLachlanCalifornia
80Miguel Angel Reyes-VarelaTexas
85Diego HidalgoFlorida
86Maxime CressyUCLA
92Ben SheltonFlorida
94Boris AriasLSU
95Andrew HarrisOklahoma
97Jeevan NedunchezhiyanWashington
98Saketh MyneniAlabama

WTA Doubles Top 100 Year-End Rankings

11Erin RoutliffeAlabama
14Ena ShibaharaUCLA
16Desirae KrawczykArizona State
17Ellen PerezGeorgia
18Luisa StefaniPepperdine
25Giuliana OlmosUSC
26Aldila SutjiadiKentucky
39Ingrid NeelFlorida
56Anna DanilinaFlorida
69Alexa GuarachiAlabama
82Sabrina SantamariaUSC
83Danielle CollinsVirginia
94Jennifer BradyUCLA
99Peyton StearnsTexas
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