| Jesse Witten
Excellent first year that earned him All-American status as a freshman ... Finished the year at No. 4 in the ITA rankings ... Reached the finals of the NCAA Championships with wins over Steve Capriati (Arizona), Scott Lipsky (Stanford), Amer Delic (Illinois), Oliver Maiberger (San Diego State) and Ryan Haviland (Stanford) before being defeated in the finals by defending champion Mattias Boeker (Georgia) ... During the fall, took big wins in the opening rounds of the Southern Collegiate Championships against Mississippi State's Luis Carvalho and Tony Mule of UNC-Greensboro...Made an impressive run at the ITA All-American Championships with big wins over UCLA's Marcin Matkowski (6-2, 6-3) in prequalifiers and Wisconsin's Danny Westerman (6-3, 6-1) in the first round before falling 6-1, 6-1 to Amer Delci of Illinois in the quarterfinals... Advanced to the second round of the National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships with a first round victory over Westerman before falling to Leber... Paired with Johan Grunditz in doubles action for a 3-1 record during the Southern Collegiate Championships... 5-0 at No. 2 with wins over UCLA's Jean-Julien Rojer and Marcin Matkowski, and a big win over #14 Mario Toledo in UK's first upset of #4 Tennessee at the National Indoors ... Finalist in the SEC Indoors in January, losing to Peter Handoyo (Tennessee) ... Best win was over #9 Romain Ambert of Mississippi State in the semi-finals ... Took over the No. 1 position with the start of the SEC season and posted wins over All-Americans Javier Taborga (Notre Dame), Bobby Reynolds (Vanderbilt), Marcin Matkowski (UCLA) and Mario Toledo (Tennessee), plus #25 Alex Hartman (Ole Miss) and #50 Oggie Kolev (Arkansas) ... In the final rankings for 2002, he was the top-ranked freshman and the 2nd-ranked American ... Named SEC Freshman of the Year by the SEC coaches ... Named 1st team All-SEC ... NCAA/ITA National Rookie of the Year ... Keyed UK's win over #17 Duke at the NCAA Championships with a big win over #11 Phil King 6-4, 6-4 ... Named to the 2002 USA Tennis Collegiate Team.
Junior Career: Enters collegiate career with 12 ATP points and a ranking of No. 775...Won two consecutive Florida State High School singles titles...Went undefeated in dual matches and ended career with 61-4 record...Won 2000 U.S. Boys 18 Clay Courts in Louisville...Improved to No. 4 at the U.S. Boys 18 Championships in 2001 after being No. 5 in 2000...Lost in the first round of the Juniors U.S. Open in 2000 to Andy Roddick...Teamed with Matt Emery to reach the final 16 in doubles with a win over Socerling and Smith...Won the U.S. Boys 16 Clay Courts in 1999 and was No. 2 in the U.S. Boys 16 Championships after a No. 1 standing for most of the year...Reached semifinals of Tampa Futures in May...Earned USTA wildcard for Fifth Third Bank Challenge as 18's Clay Courts Champion and picked up a victory over former world No. 1 junior Ben Ellwood of Australia...Grew up in Naples as close friend of another Wildcat, Evan Austin.
Emery on Witten:
"Jesse is a very talented player who brings a lot of competitiveness to our program. He reminds me very much of the young Cedric Kauffmann."
Witten's UK Stats