Thursday marks the opening of applications for the 2024 Universal Tennis Foundation Hurd Awards.
Continuing in the tradition started by Mark Hurd and Oracle, the Universal Tennis Foundation Hurd Awards are player grants made possible by a gift from the Hurd family and will be awarded annually to assist young American tennis players transitioning from college to elite international competition.
Two $100,000 grants will be announced at the BNP Paribas Open each year to a male and female who has shown a commitment to continued development in international tennis and exhibited exemplary sportsmanship in college tennis.
Players can access the application here.
In 2023, Michigan’s Andrew Fenty and Texas’ Peyton Stearns were awarded the grants.
"I was super excited to hear that I was the 2023 Hurd Award winner," Peyton Stearns said. "My first thought was I can do something, I can get a physio, I can get a team around me, which is huge, and get a team that cares for what I'm doing on court and off."
After winning the individual and team NCAA titles in 2023, Stearns left the University of Texas for the WTA Tour and was ranked inside of the Top 50 by year’s end. She reached the fourth round of the 2023 US Open.
"This is something that will change my life and I'm just super honored to have this opportunity,” Andrew Fenty said. “I just want to do my best.”
Fenty graduated from the University of Michigan and was recognized as a 2023 ITA All American in singles and doubles. He’s traveling full-time on the professional tour.
To be eligible for the 2024 Hurd Awards, players must have played at least one season of college tennis and have either completed collegiate eligibility in 2023, announced the intention of leaving college to focus on playing tennis full-time in 2024, or will complete collegiate eligibility in May 2024 after the conclusion of the 2024 NCAA collegiate season and tournament.
The deadline for applications is February 4. Applications may be submitted here. For more information, go to universaltennis.foundation.
The Universal Tennis Foundation Hurd Awards Council will evaluate award recipients. The members of the Council are committed to the growth and improvement of tennis and include:
Paula Hurd: Chairman, Universal Tennis Foundation and Member, Board of Regents, Baylor University
Lindsay Davenport: Former world No. 1; 3-time Grand Slam singles champion
Tracy Austin: Former world No. 1; 2-time Grand Slam singles champion
Mary Joe Fernandez: Former world No. 4; two-time Olympic doubles gold medalist
Peggy Michel: 3-time Grand Slam doubles champion; Assistant Tournament Director, BNP Paribas Open
Todd Martin: Former world No. 4; played college tennis at Northwestern University
Gordon Uehling: Former ATP player; ITA board member; coaching advisor to Novak Djokovic
Stephen Amritraj: Former ATP player and coach
Chase Hodges: 15-time NAIA national champion and UTR Sports Vice President