MELBOURNE — The last remaining American man in the 2018 Australian Open singles draw is… Tennys Sandgren. Surprised? So is he.
“I almost want to ask you how surprised are you that I'm still here. It's definitely surprising,” Sandgren told TENNIS.com.
The 26-year-old has spent his fair share of time toiling away on the ITF Pro Circuit and ATP Challenger tour. He’s done the college stint, and labored through a comeback after surgery (on a torn hip labrum in 2014).
“I think everybody has to deal with some sort of injury because it's such a physical game,” he said. “To have a result like this is really special.”
The Tennessee native been entangled in the sport from the age of five, and no, we are not going to talk about his name (it’s Swedish). Obviously, he has many years of playing experience, just not on the ATP tour.
Since turning pro in 2011 after two years at the University of Tennessee, Sandgren has won 11 Futures titles and three ATP Challengers. Cracking the Top 100 in November was a huge milestone for him (now he’s going to jump to at least No. 70).
“I almost retired. That's it, I’m done,” he said, jokingly. “That's all I've wanted. Once I hit that mark it was a little bit of an adjustment period. That was my goal, what do I aim for now? That's been my bar since I was like 14, you can't just make a new one.”