American JC Aragone is into the quarterfinals of the Oracle Pro Series – Ann Arbor as the No.8 seed. The former UVA Cavalier was the recipient of the 2019 Oracle US Tennis Award, which awards up-and-coming pros who played college tennis with the financial help they would need to succeed on the professional tour.
After tough Round of 16 victories in singles over Germany’s Lucas Gerch and in doubles over Kozlov/Lovett (with partner Sekou Bangoura), Aragone shared some insight into his background, habits and favorites on and off the court.
What is your most memorable win?
The first time I ever played the US Open (in 2017), in the first round of qualies I beat Marco Cecchinato, who made the semis of the French Open in 2018. Playing in my first slam, that was a pretty cool experience.
What is your next goal in tennis?
Breaking the Top 200 is a tough goal that a lot of players set. It pretty much means that you are entered into the qualies of every Grand Slam and into many more higher-level ATP tournaments.
Who has been the toughest opponent you’ve faced?
They’re all tough. I got killed once by Kevin Anderson, which was tough. It was a fun experience, but didn’t last long.
What is a memorable match you’ve watched live or on TV?
I remember I watched the Federer vs. Djokovic US Open semifinal live, I was there for the junior tournament in 2011. Djokovic was down 5-3 in the fifth set in a ridiculous match. He hit an unbelievable return to save the first match point and ended up winning it 7-5.
What are 3 things you always have in your tennis bag?
I always carry goo packets (energy gel) because they don’t take them away in airport security, athletic bands for warmups, and tennis racquets of course.
Who has been the most influential person on your tennis life?
My parents – they’ve been through it with me from the beginning to now. It’s a tough career. Both my parents play tennis, but my dad got me into it.
What is your favorite shot to hit in tennis?
It’s always fun hitting a drop shot winner – although I don’t make many of those.
Where has been the most interesting or exciting place you’ve traveled?
I went to Australia last year, which was cool. I’ve never seen a kangaroo live and it was awesome. It was a baby kangaroo – I hear they’re mean when they grow up, but the baby was pretty adorable.
What’s one thing you can’t live without?
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
You have to be comfortable being uncomfortable.
What is a weird superstition that you have?
If I’m doing well, I have to shower in the same shower in the locker room. It gets kind of weird if there’s a player in there and I have to wait it out. There could be six open showers, but for me it’s a weird superstition to wait for the same one.
What is your ideal “Stadium Walk Out Song?”
In college, we always used to play “My House” by Flo Rida. So something in that genre would be a great pump-up song. A little intimidating, up beat, but not too mean.
Tell us three things we don’t know about you.
– I went to the University of Virginia all four years.
– I have a German Shepherd at home.
– I live in Miami.
Morning Person or Night Owl:
Beach or Mountains:
Pizza or Salad:
Roger or Rafa:
Clay or Grass:
Flying or Driving:
Puppies or Kittens:
Savory or Sweet: