About Me: My name is Lauren Herring and I am a recent graduate of the University of Georgia. I have been playing tennis since the age of 5, where I was first introduced to the game by my parents, who would take my twin brother and I out for some family fun on the weekends. The game interested me from an early age, and my passion and love for it has only grown stronger since. Tennis has provided me many opportunities over the years, and I have been incredibly fortunate to have such a supportive family who have enabled me to reach the elite level I find myself at today. However, the professional tour is quite expensive and requires a lot of travel, which can really add up over the course of a year. My goal is to be playing the slams (US Open, French Open, etc.), however in order to do this I must start at the bottom and accumulate enough points to get there. If you help fund my campaign, I promise you I will put in the work to give myself the best chance of attaining my goals and reaching my full potential.
Background Information: All four years at the University of Georgia I was a key player, starting at the #2 position freshman year before playing #1 for the remainder of my career. I was a 5 time All-American, and was ranked as high as #3 in the nation in singles and #2 in doubles. My freshman year I was named SEC Player of the Year, ITA Southeast Rookie of the Year, First-Team All SEC, and onto the Freshman All-SEC team. My sophomore year I won both the singles and doubles titles at the ITA Southeast Regional tournament and was once again named First-Team All SEC. My junior year I was selected to represent the US in France on the Master’s BNP Paribas team where we won. I was also selected onto the ITA Collegiate All-Star Team, was named SEC Player of the Year, was an NCAA doubles finalist at the NCAA National Championships, and was one of only two undefeated No.1 singles players in conference play. During my senior year, which was marred by a 6 month long recovery from wrist surgery, I was named First Team All-SEC for the fourth consecutive year, was named to the SEC All-Tournament Team, and was also named to the NCAA Championships All-Tournament Team at No. 1 Doubles. Most importantly, with a team composed of 5 freshman and only one senior, I helped lead my team to a semifinal appearance in the NCAA Team Championships, the furthest the UGA Women’s Tennis Team has been in 6 years. I finished my career ranked 2nd in school history in doubles wins, as well as 2nd in combined singles and doubles wins.
Away from the courts I was selected for the SEC Brad Davis Community Service Award, was a 4-year member of UGA’s Leadership Academy, as well as a 4-year member of the UGA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. While competing at a highly competitive level on the court, I also excelled in the classroom. I was a 4-year honoree on the SEC Academic Honor Roll, Dean’s List, and Athletic Director’s Honors Roll, as well as an ITA Scholar Athlete each of the four years. In addition, I have been named an Academic All-American for the past three years, studied abroad at Oxford University, and was selected for the Ramsey Scholar for Athletic and Academic Excellence, an award presented by the University of Georgia to recognize the top ten athletes by GPA. I graduated Summa Cum Laude, with a GPA of 3.95 in sociology.
These awards and recognitions exemplify my determination, as well as the hard work I put in when it comes to reaching my goals. Tennis has been such a huge part of my life since I was 5 years old, a passion that has only grown over the years. These past four years at the University of Georgia have helped further develop my skills that will enable me to succeed on the professional tour if given the opportunity. Skills such as time management, responsibility, and commitment will surely help me succeed on tour; however, my passion for the game is what helps me keep a positive perspective and the persistence needed to succeed. When I look back to all of the hard yards I have put in since first starting out playing with my family when I was 5 years old to where I am now, I am hungry and excited to see where my hard work and potential can take me.
Pro Tennis Financial Responsibilities: My biggest expenses on tour will be flights and hotels, with other expenses such as tournament fees, food while at tournaments, stringing, physio needs (in order to take care of my body while playing) and clothing to name a few. If I were to receive help for all of my expenses (especially hotels and transportation) it would be a great benefit beyond what I can initially expect, and for which I would be eternally grateful. However, at this time, any sort of donation or aid, no matter how small, is significant and certainly greatly appreciated.
Conclusion: The start of professional tennis is difficult because a considerable amount of money is needed to jumpstart a career. In fact, it is estimated that to play a full schedule (and including the expenses that come along with it) it can cost anywhere between $25,000-$30,000 per year, which is a very rough estimate. There are two levels on the professional circuit: the ITF circuit, and the WTA circuit. The WTA circuit is what you are accustomed to seeing on TV, with the top players in the world playing at the nicest venues. However, the ITF circuit is what tennis players must first start out on in order to accumulate points that will then get them on the WTA tour. I will not be able to financially support myself initially on the ITF circuit due to the little prize money involved, but it will be the needed start. If you decide to help fund me, your generous assistance will allow me to play enough ITF tournaments so that I can then hopefully accumulate enough points to start playing WTA tournaments. Once I consistently start making these tournaments, I will need considerably less help, as the money I make will allow me to address most of my expenses and hopefully help propel me toward a successful career.
Thank you for taking your time and considering this, and please contact me if you have questions. Feel free to share this with others, and spread the word via Facebook, Twitter, and email.