FOREST HILLS, NY – In a year already littered with memorable moments, Jamie Loeb wouldn’t mind adding another highlight to 2015.
On Tuesday, Loeb, 20, the former North Carolina standout and 2015 NCAA Division I Singles National Champion, will step onto the historic hardcourts at the U.S. Open for the first time as a professional tennis player.
Her opening round assignment? Caroline Wozniacki, the former world No. 1 player, No. 4 seed in the 2015 U.S. Open Women’s draw and U.S. Open runner-up in 2009 and 2014.
“I’m really excited,” Loeb said on Friday at the West Side Tennis Club, where she was on hand to receive her second straight ITA Collegiate All-Star award. “It’s my U.S. Open main draw debut and I’m hoping to get on one of the big courts and have the support of the New York crowd and try and take in the whole experience.”
Playing Wozniacki should bring Loeb, who concluded what proved to be her final season at North Carolina with a 31-5 record and No. 3 Oracle/ITA Collegiate Tennis Ranking, plenty of exposure.
“I have nothing to lose, so I’m going to go for every shot and play my game,” said Loeb, who concluded her freshman year as the nation’s No. 1-ranked singles player. “I know (Wozniacki’s) a really talented player and to play someone at her level is a great opportunity for me to get better and learn some things. Upsets do happen, so I’m hoping to get that upset, but most importantly, I’m just going to enjoy the experience.”
The Ossining, New York, native, Loeb is relishing the opportunity to play in a tournament that holds much personal meaning to her.
“It’s very special to me. I’ve grown up watching the U.S. Open and have gone there since I was little; it’s been something I’ve followed very closely as a little girl,” said Loeb, the two-time ACC Player of the Year and 2014 ITA Player and Rookie of the Year. “I’ve played in qualifiers and juniors before, but to be in the main draw at the U.S. Open and be surrounded by such great players, it’s a whole other level. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Loeb, who won the 2013 Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American and 2013 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship, credits her two years at Chapel Hill for helping her make the transition to a professional tennis player.
“I needed to mature a little bit in college, get stronger physically and learn to be more independent,” said Loeb, who won last year’s inaugural American Collegiate Invitational. “To have the team camaraderie and college experience, I’m really happy that I did it and now is a great time to pursue my professional goals, and hopefully achieve them."
> ITA Tennis Homepage > About ITA > News > North Carolina's Loeb To Make Pro Debut At 2015 U.S. Open