Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - by B.B. Branton
From the tennis courts in Duluth, Ga. to a champion at Kalamazoo (boys’ nationals) and earning a seat at the table for Breakfast at Wimbledon, tennis has taken Jordan Cox around the world and back more than once.
Armed with his trusty tennis racquet and a plethora of winning shots, Cox, as thousands of talented juniors who have done before and after him, it was also about climbing to the top of the national 12s and 14s rankings.
But contrary to those juniors who hit the talent ceiling early on, Cox’s junior career - a national title in 14s and 16s and national thirds in 12s and 18s – led to a pro career and now a member (No.1 singles) of the defending NAIA national champs at Georgia Gwinnett College.
Playing TVOC: Fresh from that national team title in May, Cox is in town to play singles (No.5 seed) and doubles (No.2 seed) with U.
of Florida sophomore Maxx Lipman in the talented TVOC men’s open division at Manker Patten Tennis Club.
“Many juniors do great in the 12s and 14s and then for a number of reasons don’t stay at the top of the national rankings in the 16s and 18s and some you never hear of again,” said Cox after winning his TVOC round of 64 singles match Wednesday afternoon.
TVOC Web site: tvoctennis.com and click on register here and scroll down for results and draws.
But Cox is not among the discarded or forgotten as in addition to his U.S. junior success, he reached the quarterfinals in junior doubles at the French, Wimbledon and U.S. Open, plus being a Wimbledon Junior singles runner-up at the age of 17 in 2009.
“Playing in the junior finals of Wimbledon on that final Sunday was special as my match was on court No.1 while next door was the great match on center court as Roger Federer defeated Andy Roddick in a classic five set match (5–7, 7–6(8–6), 7–6(7–5), 3–6, 16–14),” stated Cox with a smile who credits his success to the support he has received from his parents and brother and excellent coaches.
“You are playing for a Wimbledon title just as Federer and Roddick and you could hear cheers from the center court crowd.”
Cox’s run to the finals was impressive as he won two qualifying matches to gain entrance to the main draw then beat then newly-crowned NCAA singles champ and Ole Miss freshman Devin Britton, 6-3, 6-7, 16-14 in the semis.
“It’s surreal playing at Wimbledon, but you have to stay focused on each match,” Cox stated. “I was quite blessed to win seven of eight matches, including the two qualifying matches.”
Next stop was the pro tour as he played three years plus touring Europe and Asia and ranked as high as No. 450.
But by spring of 2012 he needed a break to see what was his next step in life.
“The daily grind of travel and one tournament after another eventually got to me and I lost my motivation to play,” he said.
But while the pro tour door shut a door to a college career opened as he enrolled at Georgia Gwinnett College in the fall of 2013, sat out the 2013-14 season as part of re-gaining his amateur status and led the Grizzlies to the aforementioned national crown this spring.
“It is great to be able to have a college scholarship and work towards a degree in business marketing (4.0 GPA this spring),” stated Cox.
“After being home-schooled through high school, that first semester of college (fall 2013) was quite an adjustment since I had never been in a traditional classroom setting (but did score a 34 in English on the ACT in high school).
It then became a balancing act of classes every day and college tennis.
“Those new responsibilities made me grow up which was good for me.”
From the cheers at Wimbledon to the grind of the pro tour and now a third tennis career, life is good for the 23-year-old Cox.
“My career has been great and I have no regrets.”
contact B.B. Branton at email@example.com