INDIAN WELLS, Calif., March 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Oracle Corp. CEO Mark Hurd, along with tennis Hall-of-Famer Tracy Austin, announced today that tennis professionals Francesca Di Lorenzo and Chris Eubanks are the recipients of the second annual Oracle US Tennis Awards.
Eubanks and Di Lorenzo each will receive a $100,000 grant to help develop their tennis careers. The two young professionals were selected by a six-member advisory council comprised of former tennis professionals and executives. The Intercollegiate Tennis Association, the governing body of college tennis, will administer the grants.
"Chris and Francesca are terrific players and very deserving of the awards,'' said Oracle's Hurd. "Our goal with these awards is to help young players as they transition into professional tennis.''
Di Lorenzo, 20, turned professional last year after playing two years at Ohio State University, where she won the 2017 NCAA women's doubles title. Di Lorenzo finished the 2017 collegiate season as the No. 1 singles and No. 3 doubles player in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Rankings. She currently has a UTR of 12.26 and is ranked No. 258 on the WTA tour.
"I can't tell you how much this means to me,'' Di Lorenzo said. "It's an honor to be selected, and I guarantee that this will help me improve my game.''
Eubanks, 21, also turned pro last year after playing tennis at Georgia Tech University from 2014-2017. Eubanks learned tennis through a community program in Atlanta and last year received the ITA Arthur Ashe Sportsmanship Award. He finished the 2017 college seasons as the No. 8 singles and No. 30 doubles players. Eubanks currently has a UTR of 14.9 and is No. 295 in the ATP rankings.
"Playing tennis professionally has been a dream of mine since I was a kid,'' Eubanks said. "It's great that the people at Oracle understand how hard it can be to move from college to the pro circuit. This is a big help for my career.''
Eubanks and Di Lorenzo follow on the heels of two other young players, Danielle Collins and McKenzie "Mackie'' McDonald, who received the inaugural awards last year at the BNP Paribas Open. Collins won this year's Oracle Challenger Series in Newport Beach and clinched a wild-card berth into the BNP Paribas Open, where she won three matches and made it to the round of 16. In the past year, she has risen from No. 248 to No. 117 in the WTA rankings. McDonald had his first Grand Slam match victory in the Australian Open, and made it to the finals of the RBC Tennis Championships in Dallas last month. His ATP ranking has risen to No. 142 from No. 257 a year ago.
Lindsay Davenport, on behalf of the advisory council, congratulated Eubanks and Di Lorenzo and applauded Oracle for creating and funding the awards.
"Chris and Francesca have such great potential and the advisory board is confident these grants will help them reach it,'' Davenport said. "We're all grateful to Oracle for recognizing this need among young players and are hopeful that other organizations will step up to support American tennis.''
The Oracle US Tennis Awards Advisory Council includes:
- Lindsay Davenport: Former singles world No. 1; 1996 Olympic gold medalist, current Tennis Channel analyst;
- Ilana Kloss: Former singles world No. 19; commissioner of Mylan World Team Tennis.
- Peggy Michel: Three-time grand slam doubles champion; played college tennis at Arizona State; current Assistant Tournament Director & Vice President of Sales at the BNP Paribas Open.
- Dr. Timothy Russell: CEO ITA; college educator for three decades.
- Martin Blackman: General Manager, USTA Player Development; played college tennis at Stanford.
- Todd Martin: Former singles world No. 4; CEO International Tennis Hall of Fame and Tournament Director, Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open; played college tennis at Northwestern University.