On the heels of leading The Virginia Cavaliers to the NCAA Men’s Championship and being named Most Outstanding Player, Jarmere Jenkins has plunged into the world of professional tennis. This week the College Park native is outside Chicago playing the Winnetka 50K Challenger Tour event. The tournament field includes other recent college stars like Southern Cal’s Steve Johnson, and Stanford’s Bradley Klahn along with ATP tour veterans Donald Young and Robby Ginepri.It seems like an excellent chance for a player making the transition from college to the pros.Winning matches at this level can help the point total increase quickly, but if you talk to the player nicknamed “Hands”, you will hear something different.
If it is possible to move fast without being in a hurry, then that would best describe the start to the Jenkins professional career.Chicago is his third stop in as many weeks and I’m sure he has enough clothes packed to last until the weekend. You see, in his first pro tournament two weeks ago at Amelia Island, Florida Jarmere made it to the finals in both singles and doubles, capturing the doubles title and his first professional paycheck. A week later, Jenkins makes it to the final in Rochester and wins his first singles title. Both Amelia Island and Rochester were Futures Tour events,with total payouts of 10 thousand dollars each. The check is small and so is number of points to be earned. Some highly decorated college players pass on playing this level, but like I said,Jenkins is in no hurry.
“My first tournament in Amelia Island, FL I just wanted to get a lot of matches in,” says Jenkins”I turned down the wildcard in the main draw because I felt like I needed a little confidence under my belt. I ended up qualifying and making the final.” ‘I was happy with that and to be able to come back the next week and win it means a lot for me as well.” “I’m just really concentrating on improving and getting better each practice and match.”
With the spring that he has enjoyed don’t be surprised to see Jarmere getting his chances to get a taste of the U.S. Open Series when hardcourt season starts. Like I said, he is moving fast, but not in a hurry .