Tennis Preview
Think of an international tennis competition that features a group of star international players converging on one city every four years to compete under their nation’s flag for gold, silver and bronze medals – that competition could be the Olympic Games, or it could just as easily be the Pan American Games.

Tennis has been contested at the Pan American Games since 1951, and some of its medalists, especially the ones representing Team USA, are tennis hall of famers. Althea Gibson won singles gold in 1999. Arthur Ashe won in mixed doubles in 1967. Pam Shriver won the triple crown – singles, doubles and mixed – in 1991.

A group of up-and-coming American stars will look to add their names to that list this year in Lima, Peru, where the tennis competition runs from July 29 – Aug. 4 on the red clay courts of Lima’s Lawn Tennis Club. 

Team USA will send a trio of 20-year-olds to compete for the women: Usue Arconada, a former top-five junior in the world; Caroline Dolehide, who nearly broke into the professional top 100 in 2018; and Alexa Graham, a 2019 All-American singles player at the University of North Carolina.

All three men competing for Team USA are former or current collegiate stars: 28-year-old Kevin King, who was a doubles All-American at Georgia Institute of Technology and broke into the top 200 of the professional rankings in 2018; 25-year-old Michael Redlicki, a former All-American at the University of Arkansas; and 20-year-old Sam Riffice, a freshman All-American for the 2018-19 season at the University of Florida. 

The international competition will indeed be difficult. The men’s entry list also includes current ATP top-100 players Nicolas Jarry, of Chile; and Hugo Dellien, of Bolivia. The women’s field includes former Top-100 players Beatriz Haddad Maia, of Brazil; Rebeca Marino, of Canada; and Veronica Cepede Royg, of Paraguay.

The last Americans to win singles gold at the Pan American Games are Irina Falconi in 2011 and Paul Goldstein in 1999. Time will tell if one of the Americans above will add their name to the list in Lima 2019.