Jarmere Jenkins is one of the rising stars of American tennis. He is young, athletic, and talented enough to certainly make a big impact on the ATP tour in the future. Jarmere recently graduated from the University of Virginia and started his pro career this summer. He made the finals of a futures event in Florida and then won the futures tourney in Rochester. Most recently, he played in the US Open, participating in Men’s qualies, men’s doubles, and mixed doubles. Joey and I came up with some questions for Jarmere about his time in college, US Open experience, and future as a pro player. Here is our first Q&A with Jarmere Jenkins.
Q: So it’s you’re first year as a full-time professional. What are the biggest adjustments and challenges you’ve faced?
A: Just being able to maintain consistency. In my diet, mentality, fitness. There’s little time to slack off… Someone else is always working and waiting for an opportunity. The challenges are pretty similar. Tennis is a pretty individualized sport and you constantly battle yourself within. Push yourself to new limits all the time.
Q: You were obviously extremely successful at Virginia. What do you think you’re biggest achievement in college was and why?
A: My biggest achievement in college was my progress and maturity as a person throughout my four years there. It’s hard to put in words how much I grew but it’s something that I look back on now and say “wow, i’ve come a very long way”. All of my accolades on the court fall just short of me growing up in Charlottesville.
Q: When you’re playing college matches you have 8+ other guys there cheering you on. How hard has it been to start playing solely for yourself?
A: As I stated earlier, tennis is an individualized sport regardless. Your accountability never leaves you for one second, even in college. You just have people that share this with you in college. On one hand yes I am solely playing for myself…on the other I am always representing UVA, family, and friends.
Q: How was you’re experience at the US Open? Anything stand out?
A: It was definitely a learning experience. Before this US Open, I was 0-6 in singles there. So it definitely felt pretty good to get some wins, build some confidence, and just sorta make myself known.
Q: There has been much talk about the state of American Men’s tennis. What are your thoughts?
A: American tennis is growing a lot faster than people think. People are too concerned with results and statistics that they miss out on the more important things. US players definitely deserve more support, especially in the media. It’s not easy what we are trying to accomplish but we are all committed and will be on top sooner than later.
Q: What specific parts of your game are you working to improve? What do you think your biggest strength is on the tennis court?
A: Fitness is a key issue for me now. My biggest strength is my speed. Whether its using my speed to create offense or getting out of defensive positions.
Q:You won your first Futures title just a couple months ago and also reached the final of another. How has that success affected your game, confidence wise?
A: Futures are the lowest level pro events there are. Of course I feel good about winning them but progress is what I am most concerned about now. It gives me confidence that I am on the right track.
Q: Random one here. Of all the events you’ve traveled to this year, which was your favorite and why?
Citi Open in D.C is at the top of my list. With UVA being so close the fan support is just hard to beat. Feels like a home match.