As a wild card entrant last year ranked No. 157 in the world, JJ Wolf upset the eighth seed in the first round of the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship. It was part of a breakthrough year for the Cincinnati native, who has committed to return for the ATP Tour event April 1-9 at River Oaks Country Club, the tournament announced today. He is currently ranked No 66.
“It’s been great to watch JJ make the most of his opportunities both here and later in the year,” said Tournament Director Bronwyn Greer. “The tournament is happy to welcome him back with a successful year under his belt.”
Wolf’s surge began in February last year when he upset the world’s 21st ranked player in Acapulco, then defeated three higher-ranked players to qualify for the ATP Masters event in Indian Wells and reach the second round. He followed that by beating three higher-ranked players to reach the semifinals of a Challenger event, then qualified for the Miami Masters 1000 and took out the world No. 69 before falling to No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas in three sets.
That brought Wolf to Houston. Ranked No. 157 but having earned a wild card for entry, he defeated 36th-ranked eighth seed Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 6-4. In the timeframe from February through the U.S. Clay in April, his ranking improved 58 spots from No. 209 to 151.
Wolf’s breakthrough year didn’t end there. He later reached the quarterfinals in Washington with wins over No. 22 Denis Shapovalov and No. 28 Holger Rune, the third round of the U.S. Open with his first Top 20 win (No. 18 Roberto Bautista Agut) and his first ATP Tour final in Florence, Italy to reach a career-high ranking of No. 56.
Wolf joins past champions Reilly Opelka (2022), Cristian Garin (2019) and John Isner (2013) as players who have been announced as returning to the event.
While the 2023 tennis season is already underway in the southern hemisphere, fans are getting ready to see another side of the sport when Netflix debuts “Break Point,” whose trailer dropped today on the streaming service. Camera crews followed ATP and WTA players around the world throughout 2022 for a behind-the-scenes look at professional tennis and its personalities. The first five episodes start streaming Jan. 13 ahead of the Australian Open. Another five episodes are scheduled to be released in June before Wimbledon. Viewers will watch the tour lives of past U.S. Clay players Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe and Nick Kyrgios unfold, as well as those of Iga Swiatek, Ons Jabeur, Aryna Sabalenka and others. A trailer for the series was released today (WATCH HERE).
Daily and West Grandstand season tickets for the U.S. Men’s Clay Championship are on sale now. Click here to purchase tickets or for more information.