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Jesse Witten (born October 15, 1982, in Naples, Florida) is an American professional tennis player. He is a graduate of Lely High School and the University of Kentucky, where he majored in kinesiology.

Jesse Witten
Jesse Witten.jpg
Country (sports) United States
ResidenceNaples, Florida
Born (1982-10-15) October 15, 1982 (age 36)
Naples, Florida
Height1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Turned pro2005
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money$400,586
Career record2–9
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 163 (11 January 2010)
Current rankingNo. 884 (9 November 2015)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenQ2 (2007, 2010)
French Open1R (2010)
Wimbledon1R (2010)
US Open3R (2009)
Career record0–2
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 274 (October 25, 2010)
Last updated on: 9 November 2015.

College careerEdit

Witten had a highly successful college career at the University of Kentucky from 2001 to 2005. His achievements include:

  • Reached Final of NCAA Championships (2002)
  • Named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Rookie of the Year (2002)
  • Named the SEC Rookie of the Year (2002)
  • Attained (4) first team All-SEC singles selections during his career
  • The University of Kentucky's first (5) time ITA All-American (4 singles; 1 doubles)
  • The University of Kentucky's first SEC Men's Tennis Player of the Year

Professional careerEdit


Upon graduating from Lely High School, Witten was given a wildcard to the USTA Pro Circuit event in Seminole, Florida where he reached the semifinal.


Witten was given a wildcard to the qualifying round of the US Open and also attempted to qualify for ATP events in Cincinnati, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana.


The summer after his sophomore year of college, Witten played a handful of USTA Pro Circuit events and reach the semifinal of the event in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


As a wildcard, Witten won his first professional title at the USTA Pro Circuit event in Joplin, Missouri. He also reached two other finals at USTA Pro Circuit events in Peoria, Illinois and Lexington, Kentucky.


Upon graduation from the University of Kentucky, Witten was given a lucky loser entrance into the ATP event in Indianapolis, Indiana where he lost in the first round to Andy Murray. He then won consecutive titles later in the summer on the ITF Circuit in Ecuador. He finished the year strong by reaching the semifinals of USTA Circuit events in Waco, Texas and Honolulu, Hawaii.


His most successful year to date, Witten ended the year with a high of No. 171 on the ATP Tour. He attempted to qualify for the French Open and Wimbledon. He qualified for his first Grand Slam at the US Open where he lost in the first round to Paul Goldstein. He began the year by winning the title at the USTA Pro Circuit event in Tampa, Florida. He went on to win USTA Pro Circuit titles in Joplin, Missouri and Harlingen, Texas. He received a wildcard to the ATP event in Houston, Texas where he lost in the first round to Marcos Baghdatis. He also attempted to qualify for ATP events in Delray Beach, Florida, Queen's Club, Newport, Rhode Island, Indianapolis, Indiana, and Cincinnati, Ohio. Witten made his main draw Grand Slam debut when he and Phil Simmonds partnered in doubles at the US Open. They lost in the first round to the pairing of Alexander Peya and Björn Phau.


Witten attempted to qualify for all four Grand Slam events. He qualified for the ATP event in Memphis, Tennessee where he lost in the first round to Jürgen Melzer. Nearly a year a half since his last title, Witten won his seventh championship at the USTA Pro Circuit event in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he defeated Donald Young in the final. He reached the quarterfinals of five other USTA Pro Circuit events.


Witten qualified for the 2009 U.S. Open, where he won his first round match against 29th seed Igor Andreev, 6–4, 6–0, 6–2. In second round, he defeated Máximo González 6–7(3), 6–4, 7–5, 6–3. In the third round, Witten lost the match to Novak Djokovic, 7–6(2), 3–6, 6–7(2), 4–6.[1]


Witten qualified into the 2010 French Open but was defeated in the first round by the #25 seed Marcos Baghdatis 6–3, 6–4, 6–3.


Witten won the Metzger Tournament at Colonial [2] and the 43rd annual City of Naples Tennis Championships at Cambier Park.[3] Witten used protected ranking (367th) to get into the Panama City Challenger field after an 11-month break at pro level. He reached semifinal, where he was forced to retire due to low back injury.


Witten won 10k F15 futures at Indian Harbour Beach.

Playing styleEdit

Witten employs an offensive baseline game although he is capable of playing an all-round game. His main strengths are his groundstrokes, foot speed, balance and return game. His groundstrokes are technically sound on both forehand and backhand, he hits the ball extremely early which creates great power, depth and consistency. Given his overweight appearance, Witten regularly surprises opponents with his speed and quality of play.


Witten began playing tennis at age 6. His father Paul works in construction management, and his mother Elaine is an optometrist. He has one older sister Sarah who is an elementary school teacher and also played tennis for the University of Kentucky. Jesse's younger brother Ben graduated in 2008 from the University of South Florida and works in California as a chemist. Witten likes every type of sport and is a big Miami Heat and Miami Dolphins fan.


External linksEdit