MIAMI, Fla.—The world’s best tennis players come from all corners of the globe. Their backgrounds vary drastically; their stories are as unique as their groundstrokes. Yet there exists one common thread among them: They uprooted their lives as juniors for better training. And a substantial portion of these juniors ended up in Florida—which is no coincidence.
Plenty of current and former stars have wacked thousands of balls at Nick Bollettieri’s training mecca in Bradenton—the IMG Academy—including Kei Nishikori, Jelena Jankovic, Maria Sharapova, Andre Agassi and Jim Courier.
The Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton has served as a de facto USTA base, taking in current young talents Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe, along with more established touring pros such as Christina McHale and Madison Keys. Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova and Alja Tomljanovic have also spent some time working out at Evert’s.