Joe Salisbury Invited to High Performance Camp Over Break
Jan. 15, 2014
MEMPHIS - -
Senior men’s tennis player Joe Salisbury was invited to participate in the High Performance Camp at the National Tennis Centre (NTC) while he was home in London over the holiday break. For six days before the Christmas holiday, Salisbury was invited to join the camp by Nick Weal, the head coach of the men’s tennis program at the NTC. The camp consisted of other British players competing on the tennis circuit, as well as former college tennis players preparing to compete on the tennis futures and challenger circuits. The camp was coached by Weal, Martin Weston, former world No. 4 Greg Rusedski and, for part of the week, by Leon Smith, the Great Britain Davis Cup captain.
“I guess I was invited partly because I did quite well when I was home last summer and I think some of the coaches also follow the progress of college players,” Salisbury said.
The camp offered the senior a peek at his possible readiness to step on to the tennis circuit himself once his collegiate career is done at Memphis, where he enters his final semester ranked nationally in both singles (No. 56) and doubles (No. 3).
“I think my time at Memphis has definitely helped me get to the level that I am now, being able to compete with these top players,” Salisbury said. “It has also been a great transition for my game because when I was a freshman, I wasn’t ready to try to play professionally. But over my four years at Memphis, my game has developed a lot and I am much fitter and stronger, so I think I can now do well in futures tournaments and then hopefully progress further.”
Salisbury helped the University of Memphis men’s tennis team to its first-ever NCAA Round of 16 and a national ranking of No. 20 in the country. The Tigers also won their first-ever Conference USA tournament championship in 2013. When Salisbury was back in England over the summer after the conference championship and the second straight NCAA tournament appearance, he participated in a number of Futures events, earning his first professional singles points and building some momentum for an impressive fall season on his return stateside to the Tigers.
This fall, Salisbury advanced to the Round of 16 at the Ohio Valley Regional in singles and won the Ohio Valley Regional doubles championship title with teammate David O’Hare. Salisbury and O’Hare defeated the No. 1 ranked doubles team in the country on their home court in that regional draw, going on to win the title and qualify for the ITA National Indoor Championships. The Tiger duo finished the fall with a 10-4 mark in doubles. They will start their final collegiate semester as the No. 3 ranked doubles team in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) pre-season rankings on the strength of their fall results.
“The camp was a great experience because I was in a world class training environment, playing with some of the best British players, with the top coaches. It made me excited to come back for my last season in Memphis to do even better than last year, but to also try and play professionally when I graduate. It was also great because it meant I played a lot over the break, so I was in shape and playing well when we got back and started spring practice.”
Salisbury will complete his college eligibility this spring. Memphis, who competes in the new American Athletic Conference, will host the conference championship tournament at The Racquet Club of Memphis, the same facility that hosts the upcoming U.S. National Indoor tournament, on April 18-20th. The Tigers’ goal is to qualify for the NCAA Championships for a third straight season.
Salisbury and his Tiger teammates will open their spring semester this weekend when they participate in the MLK Invitational that begins Saturday in Atlanta at Georgia Tech.
Memphis is beginning the 2014 spring dual season as the No. 21 ranked team in the country. Salisbury and O’Hare start their senior seasons as the No. 3 ranked doubles team in the country, and Salisbury is also one of three Tigers ranked on the singles side. Junior Connor Glennon, another Brit on the Tiger roster (hailing from Loughborough), is ranked No. 49 in the country in singles. Salisbury is ranked No. 56 and Johnny Grimal from Barcelona, Spain, is ranked No. 87.