I was introduced to the game of Tennis at the age of 6 when my family moved to Mississippi. It wasn’t long before I was hooked, and tennis quickly became my passion. At 5 am, before the sweltering MS heat set in, with bright eyes and racket in hand, I was waking up my dad begging him to play tennis with me. By the time I turned 10, while watching the top pros play in the Nasdaq Championships in Miami, I dreamt that one day, I too, would join the professional tennis tour. All throughout my competitive junior years and my participation on the UT Men’s Tennis Team, that passion has not only endured but has grown into a single-minded focus.
I chose the University of Texas because I loved the university’s commitment to sports and their athletes, as well as its dedication to high academic standards and excellence. I loved the campus and the athletics facilities, and the phenomenal support of the alumni. I fell in love with the city itself, Austin being a vibrant city , and a great downtown.
During my fourth year of eligibility at the University of Texas at Austin, I was diagnosed with two torn hip labrums, and began a gruelling regimen of physical therapy. I was faced with two options: take the usual series of cortisone shots and get back out on the court and grind, a sure way to end my future tennis aspirations, or undergo surgery, which would remove me from any tennis playing for the rest of the college season.
I did neither. I chose to take a totally different course of action and decided to heal myself naturally. I invested hours researching my injury and recovery techniques. With the help of trainers and physical therapists, I made a painstakingly slow, yet steady recovery. For several months, instead of competing, I rehabbed at the University training facility. During those months, I often wondered if I would ever be a real contender on the pro tour or if I would even play tennis competitively again.
Thankfully, all that help from my coaches, UT training staff and family the rehab paid off, and I am back to training, better than ever, intent on making up for lost time.
Before I launched my college career, I was ranked as high as #1 in the USTA juniors and won several gold, silver and bronze balls (balls or awards?) at prestigious junior tournaments including The Winter National Championships, Clay Court Championships and Kalamazoo National Championships.
- Career high ITA singles ranking of 22 and 24 in doubles
- BIG 12 Regular Season Title 2013-2014
- Member of 2 NCAA Elite 8 Teams (2013-2014 and 2016-2017)
- ITA Texas Region Rookie of the Year (2013-2014)
- ITA Texas Region Senior of the Year (2016-2017
- Beat the ITA #1 player in the country twice during college career.
- First ATP point at the age of 17
Unfortunately, in the beginning of my career, the prize money in professional tennis is not nearly lucrative enough to cover one’s expenses, unless you are in the top-150 in the world. I am launching this campaign to give myself an opportunity to focus 100% of my efforts on training and competing in tournaments not just in the United States but all over the world. Playing on the professional tennis tour requires enormous physical strength and mental stamina, so being able to put all my energy into training properly is critical to my future success. The campaign funds would go to travel, food (mainly Chipotle), and training year round.
My intention is to compete in 25-30 professional events a year. My goal is to start summer 2018 and reach a ranking of 600 in the world within my first 12 months on tour. In terms of longer term goals, I would like to be ranked inside the top 250 by the end of 2020. With dedication, focus, a little luck, and your support, I believe that I can compete at the highest level!
Thank you for your support and please spread my Go Fund Me page on social media or with your friends! Your help will allow me to pursue my dreams and have a massive impact in the difference of my career!
- Michael Woodson
- Clara Siegel
- George Goldhoff
- Ken Young
- Rose Palermo
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