5 min read
Ariana Pursoo started playing tennis with her grandparents after watching it on TV, and now, the teen is one of the most promising young talents out of Long Island, NY.
Winning Her First Pro Title
The 17-year-old picked up her first professional title at the UTR Pro Tennis Tour $25K stop in Atlanta last year.
“Winning those matches gave me a bit of a confidence booster that I can play with any range of players as long as I can keep myself in control and play to my ability,” Pursoo told Universal Tennis. “It’s a great experience playing against such a variety of players in only a week, meeting new people, including girls who are in college sharing their advice."
She has also competed in PTT $25K events in Boca Raton, Miami, and Naples.
“The PTTs are perfect for getting match experience when you want a lot of matches,” Pursoo said. "Just to get yourself going and playing matches against different people in different conditions, and still very competitive. The pressure of winning every single match is lifted a little bit."
Dedicating Herself to Tennis Thanks to ICL Academy
Pursoo trains full-time with her coach Richard Bowie and has the support of her family as she chases her dreams. She switched to online homeschooling at the ICL Academy, a program that understands the busy schedules of student-athletes playing tournaments all year long.
“It's a fully remote online school,” Pursoo said. "They do Zoom classes for live seminars for students, but they're very flexible with the schedule. It's a very self-paced learning program, and they're very supportive of their student-athletes, which is what their program is built around."
Pursoo plays plenty of junior tournaments on top of PTT events, even competing in the junior US Open and Australian Open.
"I grew up 20 minutes away from the US Open, so getting to actually play there instead of just watching was a one-of-a-kind experience,” Pursoo said. “It was so amazing because you constantly dreamt of it as a little kid seeing yourself there. It's not the pros, but you're still playing on the same courts. It's one of the best experiences I had that year."
Weighing College vs. Professional Tennis
A high school junior, Pursoo is considering her options, with college coming up soon but the pro tour in her sights.
"I am looking at college options to just give myself somewhere that I'd be able to develop, maybe go for 1-3 years and then go pro,” Pursoo said.
Her goal this year is to play all four of the junior majors, with one under her belt already. The UTR Pro Tennis Tour complements her schedule perfectly.
“We're looking to the French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open to round out the four,” Pursoo said. "I'm looking to do some ITF 15Ks and 25Ks and PTTs in between.
About the UTR Pro Tennis Tour
The PTT is open to players with a UTR Ranking of 200-2000, and wild cards can be awarded to those players with a UTR Ranking of 1-199 or above 2000. Every PTT event creates matchplay opportunities for up-and-coming, collegiate, and pro players thanks to a unique round-robin format. At every event, a group round-robin stage is followed by a World Cup-style playoff, guaranteeing multiple matches and counting all results towards the UTR Rating, the most accurate rating system in tennis. Every PTT event offers 4-5 matches and a minimum of $20,000 in prize money with an earnings guarantee for every participant.