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On the surface, Mia Horvit’s day looks convoluted, full of potholes that distract from her dreams of reaching the Top 10 and winning Grand Slam titles.
In addition to working on her tennis and fitness, she competes in pageants, networks in her Charleston, S.C., community, and occasionally serves as an extra in movies and shows, including Outer Banks on Netflix.
“There's a lot of things I've been juggling around,” she told Universal Tennis.
But to Horvit, a five-time UTR Pro Tennis Tour (PTT) champion, everything she does is connected to helping her reach her ultimate tennis goals and become the best version of herself.
“At the end of the day, tennis is the main priority. Everything that I've been doing outside in terms of like, pageant, acting, I'm using all those funds towards tennis,” she said.
Mia Horvit's 2023: 1 Year, 5 UTR PTT Titles
In addition to Outer Banks, she also has served as an extra on Manhunt (to be released on Apple TV), Righteous Gemstones (HBO), and Suncoast (to be released film from Searchlight).
Horvit also competed in the Miss South Carolina pageant competition as Miss Mount Pleasant. That opportunity forced her to raise funds and network throughout Charleston.
Still, her results have shown that tennis, indeed, has stayed the main priority. Horvit (UTR Rating 10.69) started playing UTR Pro Tennis Tour events in January 2022 after finishing her playing career at the University of South Carolina in May 2021.
Last year on the PTT, she picked up where she left off in college. Horvit won five titles in four different cities: Atlanta (April), Charleston (June), Winston-Salem (September), and Boca Raton (November and December).
“If we had to go back in time, and you told me what I would have achieved and where I'd be at right now, I'd be like, ‘There's no way,’” she said.
Mia Horvit on UTR PTT: ‘It’s a Win-Win’
Horvit has thrived in and especially appreciated the innovative format of PTT events. The tour, open to players with a UTR Ranking of 200-2,000, offers guaranteed matches and prize money for all players.
Every PTT event features a group round-robin stage, followed by a World Cup-style playoff, and all results count towards players’ UTR Ratings, the gold standard and most accurate measure of a player’s true skill level.
How does a pro tennis player who is Miss Mt. Pleasant and an emerging actress make it all work?— Forrest Tucker (@ForrestTuckerTV) February 1, 2023
The @GamecockWTennis alum is more than an athlete and proud of it.#NGWSD2023 #WTA #Gamecocks pic.twitter.com/KXNI5HXB02
“I'm guaranteed matchplay and money, so it's a win-win on that end. Also you're prepping for other tournaments and you have so much matchplay, and you're dealing with different pressures,” Horvit said. “There's so many different benefits from it that are helpful.”
She also noted how the PTT helps collegiate players transition to the pro tennis world as line judges call the lines, whereas in college tennis, players call their own lines.
‘Playing against elite players’
More than anything, Horvit has enjoyed and gained confidence from the high level of competition she’s encountered on the PTT. In the final of the Boca Raton PTT $25K in December, Horvit beat Vera Lapko (UTR Rating 11.55), former WTA No. 60 in the world.
“When are you going to get the opportunity to play against that girl unless you're playing in a Grand Slam or at a higher event?” Horvit said. “You're playing against elite players… I don't think people realize how big
Strung together throughout the course of a year, wins like that make all of her off-the-court hustling to raise money and get out of her comfort zone worth it, Horvit said.
“Just knowing that I was put in an environment where I was unfamiliar with by moving to a new place, starting with the new academy on my own, and just trusting the process, and at the end of the year, winning five events and beating top players that were No. 100 in the world,” she said, “I know that this is just the beginning.”
•UTR Ratings and Rankings as of 12 p.m. EST, Friday, February 24, 2023.