Five British stars set to benefit from the ATP Collegiate Accelerator Programme
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Five British tennis players competing in the American Collegiate system are set to benefit from the ATP Collegiate Accelerator Programme – giving them unique opportunities to play on the ATP Challenger Tour.
The programme – in collaboration between the ATP and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) – offers players ranked in the top 20 ITA final singles rankings and those who reached the quarter-final or better at the NCAA Division I Tennis Championship, Accelerator spots into Challenger 50 and 75 events.
The programme aims to accelerate the development of young rising talents and give them the opportunity to progress at the professional level.
Britain’s Arthur Fery (Stanford University), Johannus Monday (University of Tennessee, Knoxville) and Toby Samuel (University of South Carolina) all finished inside the ITA top 10 in 2023 and will receive six to eight Accelerator spots into the main draws of Challenger events.
Meanwhile, Connor Thomson (University of South Carolina) and Jake Fearnley (Texas Christian University) both ended their season ranked between 11-20 in the ITA rankings and will receive six to eight Accelerator spots into the qualifying draws of Challenger tournaments.
The players are supported by the LTA NCAA Support Programme, aimed at the best British international players entering the NCAA system as they prepare to make their transition to the professional tours.
These five Brits are just the latest players to compete and excel in the American Collegiate system – adding to a list of current professional stars, including British No.1 and world No.13 Cam Norrie, five-time men’s and mixed doubles Grand Slam champion Joe Salisbury, men’s doubles world No.1 Neal Skupski and former NCAA Division I Tennis Championships winner Paul Jubb, to name but a few.
Mark Hilton, National Coach at the LTA said: “We’re very proud that five British players finished the 2023 NCAA season ranked inside the top 20 this year. All five have had stand-out seasons competing in the States and it’s fantastic that they will all benefit from this programme by the ATP and ITA.
“At this stage in their careers, having those opportunities to take the next step and play at a high level on the ATP Challenger Tour is incredibly positive for their development.”
20-year-old Fery finished third in the final ITA rankings this year with a 21-5 winning record, including a quarter-final at the NCAA Division I Tennis Championships. Fery is currently ranked world No.424 in the ATP rankings as well, having won the M25 Malibu earlier this year.
Monday – who won five singles and doubles ITF titles last year – ended his season ranked sixth in the nation and No.580 on the ATP Tour. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville student lost just one match between the January and the start of April during an impressive season.
Samuel closed the season ranked 10th with a record of 24-5 in the singles and also took the NCAA men’s doubles by storm. The world No.548, alongside fellow Brit and University of South Carolina alum Thomson were the No.1 doubles team in the ITA rankings.
Like Samuel, Thomson also starred in the ITA singles this year, finishing 2023 ranked 17th and winning 34 matches. Thomson and Samuel are also set to compete together at the Lexus Surbiton Trophy this week.
Finally, Fearnley, who attends Texas Christian University – the same college that Norrie graduated – rounded off the season ranked 19th.