Ingrid Martins – All-American Collegiate and WTA Athlete – Hopes to Inspire a New Generation of Tennis Players Abroad
Hometown: Rio de Janeiro
Collegiate Titles : ITA All-America Singles Team — 2019, ITA All-America Doubles Team — 2019, SEC Player of the Year — 2019
Rising WTA Singles / Doubles Ranking : 448 / 131
Solinco Equipment : Hyper-G
Tennis Role Model : Roger Federer
Favorite Tournament to Play : Australian Open
As a young adult just starting her career in tennis, Ingrid Martins had a pivotal choice to make. She would either have to quit playing and pursue a different career path, or follow her passion for tennis despite uncertain challenges ahead.
In the end, Martins chose not to settle, but to follow her gut and pursue tennis professionally. She left her hometown in Rio de Janeiro at 18 to earn her degree in the U.S. Her raw talent and belief in her abilities landed her a spot on the University of South Carolina Women’s Tennis Team.
It was at South Carolina that Ingrid took her tennis career to the next level.
- During her senior year in college, Ingrid finished the year as the #4 best singles and #1 best doubles player in the country.
- She reached All-American status in both singles and doubles.
- She was selected by the ITA as the 2019 National Senior Player of the Year.
- She clinched the SEC championship match, giving USC its first SEC title in the school’s history. The win earned her the SEC Player of the Year and SEC Tournament MVP awards.
While at USC, Martins earned many athletic and academic awards. You can see her full list of accolades here.
Martins has been a part of Team Solinco since college and plays with Hyper-G.
“Solinco equipment gives me the confidence to play and to travel around the world with no worry. I feel supported everywhere I go, and like I’m a part of something bigger than myself, because Solinco is a united team.”
In her Behind the Racquet interview, Martins discusses the challenges international athletes face in making the transition to study and play tennis abroad. She hopes her story will inspire other rising tennis players to not be afraid to take the leap. In Martin’s view, if you believe in yourself and commit to your craft, success will follow.
Ingrid Martins Interview From Behind the Racquet
“In April of 2015, I was playing a Future in Brazil and just starting my career on tour. My dad traveled with me for this tournament. He is my biggest supporter. Never counted anything to invest on me and my sister in sports. All of a sudden, he told me he couldn’t afford my trips anymore. The moment in the country was not the best and he was worried. It was a shock for me. I couldn’t see myself without tennis in my life. At the time, college in America was not well known for a lot of people in Brazil, including me. It was seen like the end of your tennis career. I could barely speak English. I did not want to go and couldn’t agree with my dad. But I didn’t have any other option besides stop playing tennis and live a “normal life”. I also didn’t want that.
Tennis is my passion and I had dreams and goals to achieve. I had to go in August since I was already 18. He sent me a couple of articles that opened my mind. I also researched but couldn’t find many information but the ones that I found were the right ones to motivate me to go, get my degree, have more time to mature and grow as a person, while playing tennis for something bigger than myself. I struggled in the beginning but everyone at South Carolina stuck with me and I’m really grateful for that.
In the summer break of my Junior Year, I felt a desire to give back to people. I used the skills that I was learning in the classroom to create a platform/website to talk about my experiences and stories in college in portuguese, especially for all the Brazilians that one day were like me, didn’t know anything about the college system in America and didn’t have the resources. I wanted to show that education and sports run alongside each other, not in opposite directions and that college sports in America are for everyone and not the end of your dreams, but the beginning of real life. I’m privileged to have good people around me that allowed me to “prove” that yes, you can be a foreign, go to College and pursue the biggest dreams in the professional circuit after. I hope to inspire people to follow their passion and never settle for something that your heart will not be happy with.”
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