5 min read
Luciana Perry (UTR Rating 10.07) has made a huge splash this year on the UTR Pro Tennis Tour, capturing a title at just 16 years old. Though still just a junior in high school, she has verbally committed to Ohio State University for 2023.
Perry is coached by her mom, Marianna, a former college player, and current instructor at Oxford Athletic Club just outside of Pittsburg, PA. Perry’s dad played college tennis at Rollins.
“My mom grew up in Argentina. She has an Argentinian tennis background, which she teaches me because they have a very like specific style of play down there,” Perry told Universal Tennis. “That's something that I try to influence in my game. I love working with my mom.”
Developing on the UTR Pro Tennis Tour
Perry needed a wild card to gain entry into her first PTT event, in Atlanta, back in April, and then her path from newcomer to winner took just a few months.
“I loved it,” the 17-year-old said of her debut. “It was one of the best tournament experiences I've ever had and every other PTT I played was incredible.”
Competing in PTT events has given Perry a lot of match experience against a variety of opponents. The money doesn’t hurt, either.
“Playing a lot of tournaments is definitely a priority for me because I get to play so many matches and work on skills,” Perry said. “I can watch video after these are all live-streamed. So I get to look back at the match and see what I did right and wrong and I get to work on it the next day.”
Winning on the Junior and Pro Circuits
This summer, the Pennsylvania native had great success on the junior circuit by reaching the final of the USTA Billie Jean King Girls' 16 National Championships in August.
“It was cool to play in front of a crowd and, for the final, a lot of people that came to watch,” Perry said. “I met Billie Jean King, which was also cool.”
Tennis Hall of Famers Rosie Casals & @BillieJeanKing presented awards @USTAGirlsNatls to 16s runner-up Luciana Perry and 16s singles champion Tatum Evans this afternoon @BarnesYTSD. https://t.co/bVACGlsZnI pic.twitter.com/BZ6i276FUi— J. Fred Sidhu (@JFredSidhu) August 11, 2021
In October, the teenager captured the UTR Pro Tennis Tour Atlanta Women’s $25K Hard 5 by winning six matches in a row. She has compiled an 18-8 PTT record in 2021.
“The amount of matches I get to play is incredible, and you can make money off of it too, which is awesome,” Perry said. “It’s so organized, too.”
Turning Her Sights to College
The teenager is one of four girls from the Class of 2023 to have played PTT and committed to college already, alongside Sankavi Gownder (Texas A&M), Maddie Jessup (Princeton), and Meera Jesudason (Georgia Tech). Six PTT girls from the Class of 2022 are also planning to compete for great colleges including UCLA, Stanford, and USC.
Perry looks to former UCLA star Jennifer Brady for inspiration, as the 26-year-old left UCLA early to crack the Top 20 on the WTA tour.
“She saw a massive improvement at college and then joined the pro tour so I think that's something that I would like to do is play college first and then go pro,” Perry said. “I think playing on a team and having a new coach give another perspective on my game would be so cool.”
•UTR Ratings and Rankings as of Dec. 27, 2021.