Jamie just finished up the best fall tennis season in UNC history just one win away from a perfect season, ending the fall 19-1. Jamie’s domination of women’s college tennis is best shown in numbers. In the 20 matches Jamie played, she managed to drop only three sets (two of which came in her lone loss to Texas’ Breaunna Addison), giving her a 93% winning percentage. Also, illustrating her dominance, Jamie lost three games or less in 75% of the 41 sets she played. These opponents are hardly pushovers. In fact, 19 of her 20 matches were against NCAA ranked opponents and 7 of her 19 wins came against opponents in the top-20, including wins over the #1, #2, #3, and #4 ranked college players in the country! And, to top it off, Jamie became the first freshman in NCAA history to win the ITA All-American and ITA Indoor Championships in the same season, and the first UNC Woman to win an ITA fall major in singles.
With her remarkable performance comes obvious questions about Jamie’s next steps. I sat down with Jamie’s JMTA coach, Felix Alvarado, to discuss Jamie’s future:
Q: Does Jamie plan on turning pro and if so, when?
A: The short answer is yes. The timing is what we don’t know yet. We have to wait and see how the spring season develops. If she dominates the spring like she did in the fall, then it is more likely that she will turn pro after her freshman year.
Q: What are Jamie’s feelings about turning pro?
A: She is very excited, but like me, is not sure of when to take the next step. She enjoys playing in college and enjoys the team, the coaches, and UNC in general, but she is not sure when to make the plunge.
Q: What factors go into determining when to turn pro?
A: There are many factors that go into her decision, many of them personal, but winning NCAA’s would be a good time to turn pro as she would receive a wild card into the U.S. Open main draw.
Q: Jamie was almost unbeatable this year, which raises questions about the competition level in NCAA D1 tennis. Do you feel the level of competition is holding her back?
A: I don’t think it is holding her back because she is getting good practice and a lot of match play experience. However, if she stays too long, then I think she’ll plateau. She absolutely made the right decision to go to college, and I trust she will make the right decision, whatever it is, when it comes to turning pro.
Jamie returns to JMTA next week to continue training with Felix. Then, just before the NCAA spring season begins, she’ll play in The Vero Beach International Tennis Open, a $25K pro tournament. Jamie’s performance in the spring season will have a big influence on her decision whether or not to turn pro after her freshman year.