December 10, 2023

JJ Wolf: 19 Fun Facts Explaining The Tennis Pro Giving Major Throwbacks! 

JJ Wolf

Jeffrey John Wolf, also known as JJ Wolf, was born on December 21, 1998 in Cincinnati is an American tennis player who turned professional in 2019. Over the last few years, Wolf’s career began to grow by leaps and bounds as he became the United States Under-18 doubles champion with John MacNally in 2016, earning him an invitation to the US Open. He won his first Challenger in January 2019 and in the same year, Jeffrey John Wolf is ranked 138th in the singles ATP ranking and 606th in doubles. At the beginning of 2020, he was titled in Nouméa and defended his title in Columbus. In 2020, he reached the 3rd round of the US Open, where he was beaten by Daniil Medvedev. Let’s take a look at his life and career. 

Explore JJ Wolf And His Fascinating Life In 19 Worthy Facts

1. Who is JJ Wolf?

Since his foray into professionalism, this American tennis player is still one of the biggest promises on the circuit and has a lot to prove. A true wolf, as his last name is taken from his grandfather Charles Wolf who was a basketball coach. 

While studying for three seasons for Ohio State University, Wolf established himself in the Columbus Challenger, and then won the Champaign Challenger; It is already 2020 and he has celebrated at the Challenger in Noumea (New Caledonia) and once again at the Challenger in Columbus, the latter achieved after beating Uzbek Denis Istomin in the final. 

Thanks to these spectacular results, he decided to enter professional tennis at the hands of Topnotch Management, a company founded in 2015 that is in charge of commercially representing athletes and betting on future promises of the sport.

2. A pure product of Ohio:

Jeffrey John Wolf, his full name, was born in Cincinnati, Southwestern Ohio, He later grew up in the suburbs of the third most populous city in the state behind Columbus and Cleveland.

He remained faithful to his region of origin since he chose the very famous university of Ohio State (in particular famous for its US football team and its rallying cry OH… IO), where he followed his course. academic and athletic. 

He is now the third former “Buckeye” (the nickname of university players) to reach the third round of a Grand Slam after Francisco Gonzalez in 1980 and Roger Smith in 1994.

3. Also a by-product from a sporty family:

JJ had multiple alternatives not a few years ago, when he practiced multiple sports. It was to be expected, since it ran in the family: Grandpa Charles had been a football player at the University of Notre Dame; and Jeff, his father, was a professional tennis player (although he only played one game in a Challenger) and had previously been a basketball player.

His mom, Brooke, played tennis at the University of Miami and Danielle, his older sister, played tennis at the same institution as Jeffrey, Ohio State.

The two women in his family, he has assured, are the ones who transferred the competitive gene to him. Her sister, because she always played better than him and she could only start to beat him when she surpassed her in size and physical strength; his mom, because when they played mixed doubles she put him against a rock and a hard place.

“Your dad is going to drive us crazy if he beats us, so we can’t lose,” he told her in those fun and spicy competitive moments. 

4. Jeffrey John Wolf finally picks tennis:

In the third round he came across Daniil Medvedev (3rd) and had no chance, but he still had a lot to talk about. But this performance was not a coincidence, rather he had already been demonstrating part of his potential since he was very young.

In his childhood and adolescence, Wolf played various sports such as soccer, tennis, basketball, and baseball. There came a time when the young man had to decide on one, and finally, it was tennis. With a lot of training and dedication, he greatly improved his game and enhanced one of his best virtues, the serve. As time went by, “Wolfie” began to take the sport more seriously.

5. He plays tennis and studies like a pro:

Something to highlight about this young American is that he never stopped his university studies, since they are very important to him and you don’t necessarily have to choose one thing or the other. Wolf was always sure he could do both, and now he’s proving it.

JJ Wolf, the university student who shines on the Challenger Circuit completes his professional studies. JJ Wolf, since at only 21 years old, has the luxury of positioning himself in the Top-150 of the ATP ranking, after winning four titles on the Challenger Circuit; in addition to entering the final stage of his professional communication studies at Ohio University. 

6. JJ studies and plays for better conditioning:

While JJ Wolf, a Next Gen who, before making an impact in professional tennis, opted for academic training, demonstrating that going to university does not mean completely disappearing from the tennis scene, on the contrary, it is a great tool that gives the tennis player the option of having a professional title in any area; in addition to competing at the highest level and increasing his condition as an athlete.

He studied online, just like his compatriot Rajeev Ram, who in December 2018 received his degree upon completing his studies this way. In mid-July 2019, after spending three and a half years at the alma mater, JJ chose to venture into professional tennis with Topnotch Management, a company founded in 2015 that deals with commercially representing athletes and betting on future promises, of which Wolf undoubtedly stands out. Some of the tennis players that this entity represents are the powerful servers John Isner and Reilly Opelka, Caroline Garcia, among others. 

7. A mullet cut in homage to Agassi:

Does the haircut worn by Wolf remind you of that of a rather very talented and very hairy player (not necessarily naturally) at the start of his career and then just as talented but less hairy afterwards? It’s normal. In 2019, he explained while his team was competing for the national title: “I promised that I would cut my hair that I had let grow if we made the national championship. There you go, I was inspired by Andre Agassi for a mullet cut! 

The “Wolf” no longer abandons it and is part of his trademark. So does his serve routine where, like John Isner and Denis Shapovalov, he bounces the ball between his legs once or twice.

When the young Wolf was asked about the great similarity of his hairstyle to Andre’s, he could not hide his admiration for him and commented: “Throughout his career, Andre has had a lot of fun with the hairstyle and style of he. He gave us amazing moments. I still like to review some of the best games from him. I can’t say that my hair is 100% based on the hairstyle that Agassi wears, but in a way it is a true homage to the person of his”.

8. Looks like he is from the 80s but is instead born in 1998:

Seeing Jeffrey John Wolf is a trip back to the ’80s. Within the already surreal situation that frames the 2020 edition of the US Open, his walk on the New York cement seems like a journey aboard Dr. Emmett Brown’s DeLorean. But did you know he is from 1998? 

When Agassi retired in September 2006, Wolf was just 5 years old. That does not prevent the young man from recognizing it. “I wouldn’t say I wear it completely for him, but if it’s a tribute, it’s great,” he said after his second US Open victory, against Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain.

Although he took off a bit from the use of the hairstyle in recognition of his iconic compatriot, it is not the first time he has noticed him. A few years ago, he tried to convince all his teammates at Ohio State University, with whom he played in the NCAA tournaments, to let their hair out like the former eight-time Grand Slam winner. And he did it.

“When I saw his hair and read his book (the autobiography “Open”), I talked to the boys and asked them why we didn’t all leave our hair. I think that in the end I was the only one who kept it and although I think it’s not the look that suits me the most, I loved it,” he acknowledged a while ago. 

9. At the age of 21, he qualified for the US Open in 2017:

For his first Grand Slam tournament, it is enough to see the windy hair of this 21-year-old boy that many Argentines have probably seen when he eliminated Guido Pella to immediately find the aftertaste of a disruptive and youthful Andre Agassi in his debut in Grand Slams. 

The American played his first Grand Slam tournament and faced the Russian Daniil Medvedev (number 5 on the planet and 3rd favorite) and said: “I am enjoying it a lot. I am playing solid tennis, I want to continue like this and reach as far as I can.”

Later he surpassed Guido Pella, was in 2020 the 138th in the world. Back then, his climb to the third round allowed him to rise at least 20 more places and be on the verge of being the tenth American in the top ten. 

It is yet another of the groups that makes us dream of the recovery of American tennis, which only in 2018, and after fifteen years, once again had a similar number of rackets in the top 100. The young people in that select “team” are Frances Tiafoe (76th, 22), Steve Johnson, Tommy Paul (58th, 23), Reilly Opelka (36th, 23) and Taylor Fritz (25th, 22 years old).

10. Already a Challenger winner by 2019: 

“JJ” has four total in his career. The first of all was the Columbus Challenger, which he won while still in college.

After meddling in the professional circuit, the “Lone Wolf” (his nickname) has won four Challenger tournaments since January 2019: two at his home in Columbus, another in Illinois and a last one in France.

But 17,000 km from Paris (in Noumea in New Caledonia) he won against Yuichi Sugita in 2019. 

On the main circuit, he played a few qualifications, notably in Cincinnati, but had never taken part in a Grand Slam tournament before this US Open 2020.

11. A Champaign’s Challenger winner again in 2020:

Already in 2020 he won the Noumea (New Caledonia) tournament, and again that of Columbus, by defeating a very tough rival like Denis Istomin in the final.

2020 started in the best way for the tennis player after winning the two Challengers titles. The young man was in the best moment of his career but an obstacle would cut him off from the rhythm of competition that he had been having. The pandemic. Despite this situation, Wolf continued to train at his house and stood his ground to come back stronger than ever. So it was. In his turn, he participated in the US Open and ended up surprising the world with his great talent.

12. Speaking of Columbus, he is a Columbus Blue Jackets fan:

In addition to his haircut, other stylistic elements allow him to stand out on the circuit. Like this Columbus Blue Jackets jersey, with the number 20 and his name on the back, put on to enter the field like going to a press conference. “One of my best friends is very close to a few Blue Jackets players and I wanted to show them some support even if they get knocked out ( NHL play-offs ),” he smiled and stated during an interview. I went to a few matches and it’s huge. That’s why I’m very happy to represent this shirt”. 

13. Also named “Big Ten Player of the Year” and “All-American”:

In 2018, he had the pleasure of playing his first ATP tournaments, where he received invitations to participate in the Cincinnati Masters 1000 and the 2019 US Open. His results in these competitions were not good, but they served as experience for the future. 

In this same year he began to compete in university tournaments where he was terrific. He was named “All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year”, thanks to the record of 35 wins and 2 losses in individual matches for the Buckeyes, one of the most important teams in American college tennis. 

14. His 2020 US Open 3rd round game sold no seats:

Initially, his career had been in full speed in Columbus, he played a final in September and won the title in Champaign-Urbana. Then he started with a double in 2020, winning Noumea in January (in the final against the Japanese Yuichi Sugita, 100th in the world) and Columbus in February.

The coronavirus pandemic was like a ceiling that prevented him from moving up, but his dreams did not stop. With the return of activity in Cincinnati and a wild card to play that Masters 1000, he advanced through both qualifying rounds and earned a spot in the main draw.

The same thing happened to him at the US Open, where the Flushing Meadows stadiums were empty. No fan saw how he got rid of the highest-ranked opponent in his career (Pella, 36th), but he couldn’t enjoy it as he wanted.

As he succeeds, he sincerely enjoys celebrations with huge crowds applauding him. For now, there he goes, giving away an eighties halo and emulating Andre Agassi.

15. 2022 celebrated the crazy passing of the ambidextrous JJ Wolf:

JJ Wolf offered the spectators of the Miami Masters 1000 a superb long line passing with his left hand. But the American is right-handed! 

JJ Wolf performs a superb left-handed shot… when he is right-handed Facing Tsitsipas, JJ Wolf makes a superb left hand pass which actually looked like superb long-line passing, as there are a few per tournament. But this one is different. 

Badly embarked on the point and forced to attempt a difficult shot, American player JJ Wolf simply chose to change hands to make his move. He took it well, the result is more than stunning. 

An extraordinary point that left the spectators speechless and we can understand them. Unfortunately for him, the 167th in the world failed to overthrow Stefanos Tsitsipas and lost in 3 sets. Yes, Jeffrey John Wolf lost his match against Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Miami Masters 1000 but he wowed the tennis world with a totally crazy passing. A merit of achieving the coup of the tournament, and with his bad hand!

16. JJ Wolf, the brazen man or is social media the brazen body?

After his first round, an image of him celebrating his victory with a wave of his hand started to make people talk on social networks because this sign which can be interpreted as an “OK” is used by movements linked to white supremacy ( especially because of the confusion it can create).

As it usually happens, the controversy has a lot to do with social networks. It happens that the young man, in his Instagram account, uploaded a photo after his victory against Pella and ended up deleting it for the sake of the commotion that was armed. What happened? The image showed him making the typical “OK” gesture with his index and thumb forming a ring and the other three fingers up. However, there were not a few who pointed it out as a gesture of white supremacy: the three fingers would form a W and the circle, extended towards the wrist, would be a P, understood as “White power” (“White power”). 

17. JJ Wolf breaks the controversy: 

The youngster who rocks the US Open 2020 with an eighties hairstyle “in the style of Andre Agassi” faced a brief controversy for an ambiguous gesture, so he decided to set things straight. 

“I learned that I was accused of making a racial hand gesture after winning my first grand slam match ever at the US Open. I have never made a racial hand gesture in my life and I never will. I don’t have a racist bone in my body. I am not sure why someone accused me of this, but I would like to get back to focusing on my next match at the US Open tomorrow. #blm”, stated the kid accompanying the photo with the hashtag #BLM.

18. Filled with attacks, the player decided to delete it:

In his last press conference, he spoke about it: “It was my first victory, I made the ‘all right’ gesture with my hand and I didn’t know what it meant otherwise. I don’t have a bone of racism, I have the most diverse friendships and the comments they made were horrible. That’s why I deleted it.” 

Visibly affected by what was said in the virtual universe, Wolf published a new photo on Friday afternoon in which he is seen, during a training session, wearing a T-shirt with the slogan “Black Lives Matter”. 

19. Where is JJ Wolf now?

In 2022, he was a quarter-finalist in Washington where he defeated players such as Denis Shapovalov and Holger Rune. During the US Open, he dismissed Roberto Bautista-Agut, 18th in the world, then Alejandro Tabilo before losing against Nick Kyrgios. At the end of the year, he reached the final of the ATP tournament in Florence where he was beaten by Félix Auger-Aliassime.

He continued his progression at the start of 2023 by eliminating at the Australian Open Jordan Thompson (6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5), the Argentinian Diego Schwartzman (6-1, 6-4, 6 -4) and drafted compatriot Michael Mmoh (6-4, 6-1, 6-2). He then played the first round of 16 of his career against another American, Ben Shelton and lost in five sets and three tie-breaks (7-6, 2-6, 7-6, 6-7, 2-6 ). 

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