Joao Fonseca makes career decision

The 17-year-old Brazilian is choosing between college and tennis in Fall 2024
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Brazilian teenager Joao Fonseca who dazzled his country's fans last week at the Rio Open made a decision about his future. The 17-year-old was choosing between a collegiate tennis career at the University of Virginia beginning in fall 2024 and turning professional and joining the ATP Tour.

Fonseca's performance at the Rio Open likely tipped the scales in favor of the ATP Tour. He stated on social media that he would forego his college commitment to Virginia and join the tour. Fonseca wrote: “It was an incredibly tough decision for me and my family as I have been dreaming about living a college life in Charlottesville, playing the sport that I love with a wonderful team and coach, but, in the last few months, professional tennis called me in a way that I simply couldn't say ‘no….’”

Few are surprised by this decision. The 2023 US Open Junior singles champion was believed to be "trying out" professional tennis with an inclination to go professional if he felt his game was already competitive. Victories over Arthur Fils and Cristian Garin and a quarterfinal appearance at the Rio Open gave fans a sneak peek of his current skillset and how it measures up to others on the ATP Tour.

Fonseca jumped 300 position in the rankings

His work in Rio paid dividends on his ranking. He started at 655th and is now up to 343rd in the world. Fonseca is not just a clay court player given his win in New York last fall. He also reached the quarterfinals of the other three Grand Slam juniors competitions in 2023.

In addition to his potential to leap up the rankings this spring, Fonseca could have the Paris Olympics on his mind. Beatriz Haddad Maia and he would make a fierce mixed doubles team for Brazil.

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