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Alex Knight: 'It's a harsh world, you need to be Top 200 to make a living'

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by Roxana Jo

Alex Knight had an amazing junior senior, leading the University of Michigan with 25 wins in singles and 21 in doubles, becoming the first Wolverine with at least 20 wins in both competitions since 2012. Then, this 20-year-old from Miami Shores, Florida, mixed holidays with professional tennis, traveling to Europe with his girlfriend, and here's what he had to say about his off-season time:

Q: How have you spent your summer?
A: The first week of June we went as a team to France, which was epic.

Afterwards, I got a few solid weeks of training in with the coaches, then I left for Europe with my girlfriend. I got the privilege of training at 4Slam Tennis in Barcelona for two weeks, then I travelled to and competed in a 15K Futures in Rochester, New York, two 25K Futures in Spain, and a 15K Futures in Brussels.

Q: Talk about the experiences and the challenge of competing with some of the best amateur and professional players in the world this summer.
A: It was incredible, I'm really grateful I got the opportunity to travel and play in these tournaments.

The top seeds are pros that are top 300 in the world, and they represent a level I want to take my tennis to. And even those guys need to get into the top 200 to make a living out of tennis. It's a harsh world; everybody fights for their lives because it is their life.

but it was a ton of fun competing against pros and the top college guys. Q: Have you picked up anything from your experiences this summer that you can bring back to Michigan next season?
A: Absolutely.

I especially learned from the close matches that I lost. You gain an idea of what you need to do to win against great players. Hopefully I can bring that into my senior year at Michigan and try to be up there with some of the best players in college tennis.

Q: What have you done in your spare time away from tennis this summer?
A: Right after NCAAs I took a bit of time off and spent some time with my girlfriend's family in Erie, Pennsylvania. They're great, and it was nice to relax a bit.

When we were in Europe, my girlfriend and I tried to do something cool wherever we were, whether that was going for a hike, visiting a castle, the beach, etc. After the last tournament in Europe, we went to England to visit my family.

It was great because I haven't seen them in five years. We spent time in Liverpool, and then we went with my aunt and uncle to see Stonehenge and the Salisbury Cathedral. We also went to Dublin for a day to see her family friends.

I had a blast this summer, whether I was on a tennis court or not. Q: What do you look forward to the most about the 2017-18 season at Michigan and it being your senior year?
A: We have a really great group of men here; we're a family.

I'm really looking forward to seeing everybody and welcoming in the freshmen. With regards to tennis, I'm looking forward to working hard day in and day out with these guys. For C-Dot (Carter Lin), Lenny (Runhao Hua), D-Crocks (Davis Crocker) and me, it's our last go around.

We've had an incredible experience here at Michigan, and it's time to put Michigan tennis back on top. We've got big goals as a squad, and we're going to try and accomplish a lot this next season.

SOURCE: Summer Spotlight: Alex Knight ALSO READ: Lusine Chobanyan moves from UT Arlington to Sam Houston State .

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