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Taylor Townsend (born April 16, 1996) is an American professional tennis player. She reached a career-best Women's Tennis Association (WTA) ranking of No. 61 in the world in July 2018.

Taylor Townsend
Townsend US16 (44) (29779952941).jpg
Townsend at the 2016 US Open
Country (sports) United States
ResidenceAtlanta, Georgia
Born (1996-04-16) April 16, 1996 (age 23)
Chicago, Illinois
Height1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Turned proDecember 2012
PlaysLeft-handed (two-handed backhand)
CoachDonald Young Sr.
Prize moneyUS$1,408,759
Singles
Career record179–112 (61.51%)
Career titles0 WTA, 10 ITF
Highest rankingNo. 61 (16 July 2018)
Current rankingNo. 83 (1 April 2019)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open1R (2015, 2018, 2019)
French Open3R (2014)
Wimbledon2R (2018)
US Open2R (2018)
Doubles
Career record133–57 (70%)
Career titles0 WTA, 1 WTA 125K, 17 ITF
Highest rankingNo. 64 (20 March 2017)
Current rankingNo. 122 (14 January 2019)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open3R (2019)
French Open2R (2018)
Wimbledon1R (2017)
US OpenQF (2016)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
US OpenSF (2014)
Team competitions
Fed Cup1–0
Last updated on: 20 January 2019.

She was named the ITF Junior World Champion in 2012 for finishing the year No. 1 in the girls' junior rankings, making her the first American to do so since 1982. In that year, she won the junior Australian Open titles in both singles and doubles, and three out of the four junior grand slam doubles titles in total.

Contents

Early life and backgroundEdit

Taylor was born in Chicago to Gary and Sheila Townsend. Her parents are both high school administrators, and her mother used to work as a banker. Sheila played Division II tennis at Lincoln University in Missouri. Taylor also has an older sister Symone who played college tennis at Florida A&M.[1][2]

Townsend started playing tennis at the age of six, and was one of the first junior players to participate in the XS Tennis program run by Kamau Murray.[3] Murray is better known for coaching Sloane Stephens to a grand slam title. When she was eight years old, she moved to Atlanta to continue training with Donald Young's father. Townsend's mother is a close friend of Donald Young Sr., as the two of them grew up together on the South Side of Chicago where they trained at the same tennis center. At the age of 14, Townsend moved to Boca Raton, Florida to join the USTA development program. When the USTA decided not to fund Townsend's expenses to compete at the 2012 US Open, Murray and XS Tennis organized a fundraiser to cover nearly $1000 of the cost of the trip. After this incident, Townsend split time training with Murray in Chicago and Zina Garrison in the Washington DC area. Since 2015, Donald Young Sr. has again served as her coach. Townsend tries to model her game after her tennis idol Martina Navratilova.[2][4][5]

Junior careerEdit

Townsend won the 2012 Australian Open junior grand slam at the age of 15 to become only the second American to ever win that title after Kim Kessaris in 1989. She also won the doubles title at the same event to become first American to win both the singles and doubles titles at a junior grand slam event since Lindsay Davenport accomplished the feat at the 1992 US Open.[6] A few months later, Townsend won the Easter Bowl to help complete her rise to No. 1 in the ITF junior rankings before the end of April.[7]

 
Townsend at 2012 US Open

Townsend continued her junior grand slam success in doubles that year by winning the Junior Wimbledon title with Eugenie Bouchard and the US Open title with Gabrielle Andrews, with whom she also partnered at the Australian Open. The only grand slam that eluded Townsend was the French Open, where she lost in the semifinals while partnering with Bouchard. Additionally, she was able to win the US Open title in spite of being asked to sit out that tournament by the USTA over fitness concerns.[8] This was only the seventh year where a player or team was able to win three out of four grand slam doubles titles, with senior grand slam winners Victoria Azarenka and Sloane Stephens among the others to complete this task. Townsend finished the season as the No. 1 ranked junior in the world, for which she was named the 2012 ITF Junior World Champion. She became the first American girl to hold this honor since Gretchen Rush in 1982.[1]

Townsend continued to play on the junior tour in 2013 and reached another grand slam singles final at Wimbledon, this time losing to Belinda Bencic. She also competed in the USTA Junior National Championship as the No. 4 seed and was knocked out in the semifinals by No. 2 Allie Kiick.

Professional careerEdit

Early years: WTA Doubles finalEdit

Townsend entered her first professional-level tournament in October 2010 at the age of 14 and was able to win her first career match. She also played in the doubles event at the 2011 US Open when she was 15 years old and reached the third round with her compatriot Jessica Pegula. She also received a wild card into the singles qualifying draw and defeated world No. 122 Arantxa Parra Santonja in the first round. The following year, Townsend requested another wild card into the 2012 US Open and was declined due to the USTA's concerns about Townsend's fitness. The USTA received widespread criticism for this decision.[6][8][9]

Townsend made her WTA Tour debut in singles at the 2013 Indian Wells Masters, where she defeated Lucie Hradecká for her first tour-level match win. Her next WTA main draw appearance came at the 2013 Citi Open. Although Townsend lost in singles, she also competed in the doubles event with Genie Bouchard, her doubles partner from their Wimbledon girls' doubles title the previous summer. The duo made it all the way to the final, the first career WTA final for either player.

2014: First Grand Slam match winsEdit

In back-to-back weeks in the spring, Townsend played at two clay court events on the USTA pro circuit at Charlottesville and Indian Harbour Beach. She won both the singles and doubles titles at each of these events, her first such ITF titles. Townsend partnered with Asia Muhammad in doubles at both tournaments. With this success, she won the USTA wild card entry into the French Open.[10] Townsend made her Grand Slam singles debut at the French Open ranked No. 205 in the world. She defeated fellow American No. 65 Vania King and then upset the top-ranked French woman No. 21 Alizé Cornet to advance to the third round, where she lost to No. 15 Carla Suárez Navarro.[11] Sloane Stephens was the only other American woman to make it that far in the tournament.

Townsend also received wild cards to make her main draw debuts at the last two grand slams of the year, Wimbledon and the US Open, but lost in the first round at each tournament. The latter loss was to Serena Williams, who went on to win the title.

2015: Top 100 debut, and declineEdit

 
Townsend at the 2015 French Open

Townsend broke into the Top 100 of the WTA rankings at the very start of the season after reaching the second round at the ASB Classic in Auckland. With a higher ranking, she gained direct entry into the Australian Open and lost to Caroline Wozniacki in the first round. In February, she made her Fed Cup debut against Argentina and won her only match, a dead rubber where she was partnered with CoCo Vandeweghe. Townsend then fell out of the Top 100 in April and began to struggle with her form, winning just two matches on the ITF circuit the rest of the year and none at the WTA tour level. She finished the year ranked outside of the Top 300.

2016: Resurgence, ITF doubles dominanceEdit

With a lower ranking, Townsend returned to playing ITF events almost exclusively. Her decision to switch back to her childhood coach, Donald Young Sr. after the 2015 French Open eventually began to pay off as she regained her form in the spring.[12] In April, she repeated her feat from 2014 of winning both the singles and doubles titles at Charlottesville. This again helped her win the French Open Wild Card Challenge. After partnering with Asia Muhammad just once in 2015, the previously successful doubles team recombined to win five ITF doubles titles by the end of April, including back-to-back-to-back clay court titles at Pelham, Dothan, and Charlottesville. Townsend returned to the Top 200 by May and got back to No. 154 after winning her first round match at the French Open. From there, her ranking steadily rose to as high as No. 131 in the world near the end of the year. She also finished the season with eight ITF doubles titles to reach a year-end doubles ranking of No. 73.

2017: Return to Top 100Edit

 
Townsend at the 2017 French Open

Up until the very end of the year, Townsend maintained her ranking just outside of the Top 100. She reached the third round of the Miami Open as a qualifier, her best result at a premier tier tournament to date. In the spring, Townsend had a quieter clay court season compared to the previous year, but still won a match at the French Open yet again. She produced another solid performance at a premier tournament in August, making it to the second round at the Cincinnati Masters after needing to qualify for the main draw. Towards the end of the season, she won both the singles and doubles events at back-to-back tournaments for the second time in her career, this time at the ITF $25K level. In her final tournament of the year, Townsend played in the Waco Showdown and dominated the early rounds, losing a total of just two games in her first three matches. Townsend ended up winning this ITF $80K event for the biggest title of her career. With this result, she also returned to the Top 100.

2018: Career-high rankingEdit

In the spring, Townsend delivered an exemplary performance during the American ITF clay court season. She reached the semifinals at two out of the four events (Indian Harbour Beach and Charlottesville) and won the title at the other two tournaments (Dothan and Charleston), both of which were ITF $80K events. She also easily won the French Open Wild Card Challenge for the third time in her career. At the end of this stretch of events, Townsend reached a career-high ranking of No. 73 in the world.

She played for the Philadelphia Freedoms in the World TeamTennis league, where she was awarded the season's Female MVP.[13] The team lost in the WTT Finals.

2012 US Open controversyEdit

Townsend was asked by the USTA to sit out of the 2012 US Open Junior tournament due to her weight and also denied her request for a wild card for the US Open main draw or the qualifying tournament, which she had received the year before.[6] Patrick McEnroe stated, "Our concern is her long-term health, number one, and her long-term development as a player. We have one goal in mind: For her to be playing in Arthur Ashe Stadium in the main draw and competing for major titles when it's time."[8] Townsend was shocked by the USTA's decision given the fact that she was the top-ranked junior girl in the world.[14]

The decision was sharply criticized by players like Lindsay Davenport and Martina Navratilova.[9] Sports Illustrated wrote, "Instead of helping a promising young talent gain that confidence and experience gleaned from competing, the USTA has taken a paternalistic tack, deeming itself the arbiter and architect behind Townsend's past, present and future success. It's the arrogance of institution built on the belief that there is a tried-and-true formula to build a champion."[6]

The USTA at first refused to pay for Townsend's expenses,[8] so she entered the tournament by paying on her own and was defeated in the quarterfinals by Anett Kontaveit in straight sets. Later, they agreed to pay for Townsend's expenses as Patrick McEnroe spoke of a miscommunication.[15] Still, the USTA decision cost Townsend an opportunity to compete for a wild card to enter the main draw of the US Open.[14]

Following the controversy, Townsend split from her USTA coaches and began training with former world No. 4, Olympic doubles gold medalist, and 1990 Wimbledon finalist Zina Garrison, who continued to coach her until 2015.[16][17]

WTA career finalsEdit

Doubles: 2 (2 runners-up)Edit

Legend
Grand Slam Tournaments (0–0)
WTA Tour Championships (0–0)
Premier Mandatory & Premier 5 (0–0)
Premier (0–0)
International (0–2)
Finals by surface
Hard (0–2)
Grass (0–0)
Clay (0–0)
Carpet (0–0)
Result W–L    Date    Tournament Tier Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 0–1 Aug 2013 Washington Open, United States International Hard   Eugenie Bouchard   Shuko Aoyama
  Vera Dushevina
3–6, 3–6
Loss 0–2 Jan 2019 Auckland Open, New Zealand International Hard   Paige Mary Hourigan   Eugenie Bouchard
  Sofia Kenin
6–1, 1–6, [7–10]

WTA 125K finalsEdit

Doubles: 3 (1 title, 2 runners-up)Edit

Result W–L    Date    Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win 1–0 Mar 2018 Indian Wells,
United States
Hard   Yanina Wickmayer   Jennifer Brady
  Vania King
6–4, 6–4
Loss 1–1 Jan 2019 Newport Beach,
United States
Hard   Yanina Wickmayer   Hayley Carter
  Ena Shibahara
3–6, 6–7(1–7)
Loss 1–2 Mar 2019 Indian Wells,
United States
Hard   Yanina Wickmayer   Kristýna Plíšková
  Evgeniya Rodina
6–7(7–9), 4–6

ITF career finalsEdit

Singles: 13 (10–3)Edit

Legend
$100,000 tournaments (1–0)
$75,000/$80,000 tournaments (3–1)
$50,000/$60,000 tournaments (3–1)
$25,000 tournaments (3–1)
$10,000/$15,000 tournaments (0–0)
Finals by surface
Hard (4–0)
Clay (6–3)
Grass (0–0)
Carpet (0–0)
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1. 27 April 2014 Charlottesville, United States Clay   Montserrat González 6–2, 6–3
Winner 2. 4 May 2014 Indian Harbour Beach, United States Clay   Yulia Putintseva 6–1, 6–1
Runner-up 1. 24 April 2016 Dothan, United States Clay   Rebecca Peterson 4–6, 2–6
Winner 3. 30 April 2016 Charlottesville, United States (2) Clay   Grace Min 7–5, 6–1
Runner-up 2. 8 May 2016 Indian Harbour Beach, United States Clay   Jennifer Brady 3–6, 5–7
Runner-up 3. 20 May 2017 Naples, United States Clay   Sofya Zhuk 4–6, 6–7(3–7)
Winner 4. 15 October 2017 Sumter, United States Hard   Ulrikke Eikeri 6–2, 6–1
Winner 5. 22 October 2017 Florence, United States Hard   Ysaline Bonaventure 6–1, 7–5
Winner 6. 12 November 2017 Waco, United States Hard   Ajla Tomljanovic 6–3, 2–6, 6–2
Winner 7. 22 April 2018 Dothan, United States Clay   Mariana Duque Mariño 6–2, 2–6, 6–1
Winner 8. 6 May 2018 Charleston, United States Clay   Madison Brengle 6–0, 6–4
Winner 9. 17 June 2018 Sumter, United States (2) Hard   Alize Lim walkover
Winner 10. 5 May 2019 Charleston, United States (2) Clay   Whitney Osuigwe 6–4, 6–4

Doubles: 24 (17–7)Edit

Legend
$100,000 tournaments (1–0)
$75,000/$80,000 tournaments (2–2)
$50,000/$60,000 tournaments (10–3)
$25,000 tournaments (4–2)
$10,000/$15,000 tournaments (0–0)
Finals by surface
Hard (9–6)
Clay (8–1)
Grass (0–0)
Carpet (0–0)
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1. 22 September 2013 Albuquerque, United States Hard   Melanie Oudin   Eleni Daniilidou
  Coco Vandeweghe
4–6, 6–7(2–7)
Runner-up 2. 3 November 2013 New Braunfels, United States Hard   Asia Muhammad   Anna Tatishvili
  Coco Vandeweghe
6–3, 3–6, [11–13]
Winner 1. 27 April 2014 Charlottesville, United States Clay   Asia Muhammad   Irina Falconi
  Maria Sanchez
6–3, 6–1
Winner 2. 4 May 2014 Indian Harbour Beach, United States Clay   Asia Muhammad   Jan Abaza
  Sanaz Marand
6–2, 6–1
Winner 3. 31 October 2014 Toronto, Canada Hard (i)   Maria Sanchez   Gabriela Dabrowski
  Tatjana Maria
7–5, 4–6, [15–13]
Winner 4. 10 May 2015 Indian Harbour Beach, United States (2) Clay   Maria Sanchez   Angelina Gabueva
  Alexandra Stevenson
6–0, 6–1
Runner-up 3. 31 January 2016 Maui, United States Hard   Jessica Pegula   Asia Muhammad
  Maria Sanchez
2–6, 6–3, [6–10]
Winner 5. 28 February 2016 Rancho Santa Fe, United States Hard   Asia Muhammad   Jessica Pegula
  Carol Zhao
6–3, 6–4
Winner 6. 3 April 2016 Osprey, United States Hard   Asia Muhammad   Louisa Chirico
  Katerina Stewart
6–1, 6–7 (5–7) , [10–4]
Winner 7. 16 April 2016 Pelham, United States Clay   Asia Muhammad   Sophie Chang
  Caitlin Whoriskey
6–2, 6–3
Winner 8. 24 April 2016 Dothan, United States Clay   Asia Muhammad   Caitlin Whoriskey
  Keri Wong
6–0, 6–1
Winner 9. 30 April 2016 Charlottesville, United States (2) Clay   Asia Muhammad   Alexandra Panova
  Shelby Rogers
7–6(7–4), 6–0
Runner-up 4. 14 September 2016 Atlanta, United States Hard   Alexandra Stevenson   Ingrid Neel
  Luisa Stefani
6–4, 4–6, [5–10]
Winner 10. 30 October 2016 Macon, United States Hard   Michaella Krajicek   Sabrina Santamaria
  Keri Wong
3–6, 6–2, [10–6]
Winner 11. 6 November 2016 Scottsdale, United States Hard   Ingrid Neel   Samantha Crawford
  Melanie Oudin
6–4, 6–3
Winner 12. 12 November 2016 Waco, United States Hard   Michaella Krajicek   Mihaela Buzarnescu
  Renata Zarazua
w/of
Runner-up 5. 14 May 2017 Naples, United States Clay   Danielle Collins   Emina Bektas
  Sanaz Marand
6–7(1–7), 1–6
Winner 13. 15 October 2017 Sumter, United States Hard   Jessica Pegula   Alexandra Mueller
  Caitlin Whoriskey
4–6, 7–5, [10–5]
Winner 14. 21 October 2017 Florence, United States Hard   Maria Sanchez   Tara Moore
  Amra Sadikovic
6–1, 6–2
Winner 15. 4 November 2017 Tyler, United States Hard   Jessica Pegula   Jamie Loeb
  Rebecca Peterson
6–4, 6–1
Runner-up 6. 11 November 2017 Waco, United States Hard   Jessica Pegula   Sofia Kenin
  Anastasiya Komardina
5–7, 7–5, [9–11]
Runner-up 7. 24 February 2018 Rancho Santa Fe, United States Hard   Eva Hrdinová   Kaitlyn Christian
  Sabrina Santamaria
7–6(8–6), 1–6, [6–10]
Winner 16. 28 April 2019 Charlottesville, United States (3) Clay   Asia Muhammad   Lucie Hradecká
  Katarzyna Kawa
4–6, 7–5, [10–3]
Winner 17. 5 May 2019 Charleston, United States Clay   Asia Muhammad   Madison Brengle
  Lauren Davis
6–2, 6–2

Junior Grand Slam finalsEdit

Girls' Singles: 2 (1 title, 1 runner-up)Edit

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Winner 2012 Australian Open Hard   Yulia Putintseva 6–1, 3–6, 6–3
Runner-up 2013 Wimbledon Grass    Belinda Bencic 6–4, 1–6, 4–6

Girls' Doubles: 3 (3 titles)Edit

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 2012 Australian Open Hard   Gabrielle Andrews   Irina Khromacheva
  Danka Kovinić
5–7, 7–5, [10–6]
Winner 2012 Wimbledon Grass   Eugenie Bouchard   Belinda Bencic
  Ana Konjuh
6–4, 6–3
Winner 2012 US Open Hard   Gabrielle Andrews   Belinda Bencic
  Petra Uberalová
6–4, 6–3

Performance timelinesEdit

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A P Z# PO G F-S SF-B NMS NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (Z#) Davis/Fed Cup Zonal Group (with number indication) or (PO) play-off; (G) gold, (F-S) silver or (SF-B) bronze Olympic medal; a (NMS) downgraded Masters Series/1000 tournament; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated at the conclusion of a tournament or when the player's participation has ended.

Only WTA Tour main draw (incl. Grand Slams), Olympics and Fed Cup results are considered.[18]

SinglesEdit

Current through the 2019 Charleston Open.

Tournament 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 SR W–L Win %
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open A A A A 1R A Q3 1R 1R 0 / 3 0–3 0%
French Open A A A 3R 1R 2R 2R 2R 0 / 5 5–5 50%
Wimbledon A A A 1R A Q2 Q1 2R 0 / 2 1–2 33%
US Open Q2 A Q3 1R Q2 1R 1R 2R 0 / 4 1–4 20%
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 0–0 2–3 0–2 1–2 1–2 3–4 0–1 0 / 14 7–14 33%
WTA Premier Mandatory + Premier 5 tournaments
Indian Wells Open A A 2R 2R 2R 1R 1R 1R 1R 0 / 7 3–7 30%
Miami Open A A A A A A 3R Q1 2R 0 / 2 3–2 60%
Cincinnati Open A A A 2R Q1 A 2R A 0 / 2 2–2 50%
Career statistics
Tournaments 0 0 3 6 5 3 7 7 5 36
Overall Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 1–3 5–6 2–5 1–3 5–7 5–7 3–5 22–36
Year-end ranking 428 676 308 102 304 132 105 74 38%

DoublesEdit

Tournament 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 SR W–L Win %
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open A A A A A A 1R 1R 3R 0 / 3 2–3 40%
French Open A A A A A A 1R 2R 0 / 2 1–2 33%
Wimbledon A A A A A Q2 1R A 0 / 1 0–1 0%
US Open 3R A 1R 1R 2R QF 1R 1R 0 / 7 6–7 46%
Win–Loss 2–1 0–0 0–1 0–1 1–1 3–1 0–4 1–3 2–1 0 / 13 9–13 41%
Career statistics
Titles / Finals 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 2
Year-end ranking 234 546 190 156 124 73 150 153

Record against top 10 playersEdit

Townsend's match record against players who have been ranked in the top 10.

* As of 3 April 2019.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Being Considered the Next Serena Is a Compliment and a Detriment". New York Times. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Tennis takes Taylor Townsend from Englewood to Paris". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  3. ^ "The Open Interview: Kamau Murray". US Open. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  4. ^ "Townsend, Young share deep connection". espnW. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Teen Tennis Star's Success is a Powerful Argument Against Body-Shaming". September 17, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d "Taylor Townsend dispute: USTA cuts funding until No. 1 junior loses weight". Sports Illustrated. September 7, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
  7. ^ "Florida Tennis Briefs: American Townsend Rises to No. 1 in the ITF World Junior Tennis Rankings". USTA Florida. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d "Why the USTA Benched America's Best Junior". Wall Street Journal. 8 September 2012.
  9. ^ a b "USTA Handling of Top Junior Player Causing Fits". ESPN. September 9, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
  10. ^ "18-Year-Old Taylor Townsend Secures French Open Wild Card". Tennis Now. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  11. ^ "American tennis discovers new star in 18-year-old Taylor Townsend". Tennis World USA. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  12. ^ "Taylor Townsend goes back to the basics after injury, coaching change". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  13. ^ "Townsend, Matkowski Lead 2018 WTT Award Recipients". World TeamTennis. 3 August 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Taylor Townsend: Benched No More". Wall Street Journal. May 13, 2014.
  15. ^ "USTA To Pay Townsend's Expenses". Wall Street Journal. 7 September 2012.
  16. ^ "Zina Garrison Works With Future Tennis Star Taylor Townsend". NBC Washington. May 16, 2014.
  17. ^ "A Former Prodigy Recaptures the Joy That Made Her a Star". New York Times. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  18. ^ Taylor Townsend at the International Tennis Federation

External linksEdit