Tigers on Tour
BATON ROUGE – The LSU Tennis program has a total of 10 former players currently competing professionally across the globe. There are six former men’s tennis players on tour and four LSU women’s tennis alumnae. These Tiger tennis alumni travel with the tour around the world to face the best the sport has to offer in hopes of improving their ranking and qualifying for a major tournament. Here is an update on how the Tigers have performed.
On the men’s side, the former Tigers currently competing professionally including Boris Arias, Justin Butsch Ken and Neal Skupski, Tam Trinh and Michael Venus.
Incoming freshman Boris Kozlov is also ranked on the circuit.
The LSU women’s team has Ryann Foster, Jade Lewis, Ella Taylor and Joana Valle Costa on tour.
Tigers in the US Open
The U.S. Open is slated to begin on Monday, Aug. 27, and there are three former Tigers scheduled to play in the Skupski brothers and Venus.
In 2017, Venus became the first Tigers to win a Grand Slam Title as he won the 2017 French Open doubles competition with partner Ryan Harrison. The duo entered the French Open unseeded and used six straight three set wins to take the title. Venus also made the finals of the US Open mixed doubles. Earlier this summer, Venus and his partner reached the gentlemen’s doubles finals at Wimbledon with partner Raven Klaasen. The New Zealand native also reached the semifinals of Wimbledon’s mixed doubles with Katarina Srebotnik. He played in the Hertogenbosch finals and advanced to the round of 16 in the French Open. Venus last played in the Rogers Cup and advanced to the finals.
He and Klaasen have won one doubles title this season at Marseille. He currently sits ranked No. 18 in the world in doubles and has been ranked as high as No. 12 in his career.
Ken Skupski has finished inside of the top-100 in doubles for nine-straight seasons and is on pace to do that again in 2018. He is currently ranked No. 57 in doubles competition. He and his brother, Neal, clinched the Quimper Challenger this season, reached the round of 16 in Wimbledon’s Gentlemen’s Doubles and advanced to the French Open round of 32. After playing in mixed doubles at Wimbledon, he reached the quarterfinals of Newport and the semifinals in Atlanta with partner Purav Raja.
This season, Skupski hit a career-high doubles ranking of 42 and currently is No. 46 in the world. He has 30 wins this year on the doubles court.
Last season, Arias won five futures doubles titles, and he finished the year ranked at No. 361 in doubles play. The Bolivia native is currently No. 289 in doubles and recently reached the semifinals of the Spain F20 Futures and is slated to compete in the Spain F23 Futures competition.
Trinh recently began his professional career and last competed in April 2018 where he reached the quarterfinals of the USA F12 Futures.
Butsch is also very new to the professional circuit. He took home two doubles victories in the 2017 season and has one in the 2018 season. He is currently competing in the Morocco F3 Futures, and after compiling three wins in the qualifying draw, the former Tigers advanced to the quarterfinals, earning his first ATP points. He sits ranked at No. 1,496 in singles.
Incoming freshman Kozlov has won four doubles matches this season. He is ranked 1,066th in doubles competition. The future Tiger reached the semifinals of the USA F19 Futures in Wichita, Kansas earlier in July.
Currently ranked No. 842 on the doubles circuit, Lewis was ranked her career-best No. 705 earlier this season. She has won nine doubles matches and three singles competitions in 2018. The New Zealander has won two doubles titles in 2018 and recently reached the doubles round of 16 at Darndstadt.
Foster wrapped up her three-year career at LSU earlier this year. She quickly turned pro after the conclusion of her time as a Tiger and has been ranked as high as 953 in doubles on the pro circuit. She has won one doubles match this season and recently advanced to the quarterfinals of Figueira Da Foz with her partner Kelly Williford.
Currently ranked No. 849 on the doubles circuit, Lewis was ranked her career-best No. 705 earlier this season. She has won nine doubles matches and three singles competitions in 2018. The New Zealander has won two doubles titles in 2018 and recently reached the doubles round of 16 at Darndstadt.
Playing at a career-high No. 833, Taylor has won six career singles matches in her pro career. She finished the 2017 campaign listed at No. 1,145.
Joana Valle Costa
After coming off of an injury and a year as the LSU women’s tennis undergraduate assistant coach, Valle Costa is ready to begin playing on the pro circuit. The Portugal right-hander has reached a career-high singles ranking of No. 782 and doubles ranking of No. 709. She has a total of 21 singles and 21 doubles wins on the circuit.
For up-to-date information and behind-the-scenes access on the Tigers, fans can follow the LSU men’s tennis team on Twitter and Instagram at @lsutennis and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lsutennis.