McKinney tennis product Liv Hovde is turning pro and hoping to debut at the 2022 US Open

It’s been a memorable summer for the 16-year-old tennis star Liv Hovde by McKinney

The path began with the chance to play on the famous Roland Garros clay for the 2022 French Open junior tournament.

She then hopped over to England where she competed at the All England Club to win the 2022 Wimbledon Girls Junior Championship.

Hovde’s summer continued on Wednesday as she announced she was giving up her amateur status and turning pro.

“It feels great,” said Hovde. “It has always been my dream to become a professional.”

She hopes to make her professional debut later this month at the 2022 US Open, her mother said.

The 16-year-old was a rising star on the junior tennis circuit last year, which culminated with a dominant run at Wimbledon. It was her first major junior title.

Former Wimbledon junior champions include the last two world No. 1s, Australia’s Ashleigh Barty and Poland’s Iga Świątek.

The last American to win the Wimbledon junior title before Hovde was Claire Liu in 2017. She is currently a top 100 player in the world.

Hovde is the No. 4 junior women’s tennis player and the No. 1 junior American. She was also the No. 1 college recruit in the Class of 2024.

She has not competed internationally since winning the Wimbledon junior title against Hungary’s Luca Udvardy in July. Including her previous tournament win in Roehampton, England, Hovde ended her junior career on a 12-game winning streak. During those 12 games, she only lost three sets. Hovde won five ITF amateur tournaments on the junior circuit.

“It was great and just super exciting,” Hovde said of her final weeks after winning Wimbledon. “I’m just looking forward to continuing my journey.”

Hovde, who has taken online classes, says she will continue to graduate from high school. She hopes to one day go to college too.

The McKinney resident has signed with GSE Worldwide. Other tennis stars who have been represented by the company include 19-year-old Canadian phenomenon Leylah Fernandez, 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens and former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki.

Wozniacki is also a Wimbledon junior champion, having won the title in 2006.

Hovde was Born in Minnesota and lived there for the first decade of her life before moving to Texas with her parents and younger brother.

She then began training with Phil Dent at his family’s tennis academy, located in Keller. Dent is himself the former tennis star who won the 1975 Australian Open doubles title and the 1976 US Open mixed doubles title.

He told before The Dallas Morning News that Hovde has the potential to be a very good professional player, but it will take time.

“She has a chance,” Dent said. “She hits the ball well enough. She has a tennis brain. She likes to play. She likes to travel. All of these things are good for her, but you never know. You never know. But I’d say she has as good a chance as anyone of being really, really good.”

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