Jeff Salzenstein
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Jeff Salzenstein
Jeff Salzenstein
Country (sports) United States
ResidenceOrlando, Florida, United States
Born (1973-10-14) 14 October 1973 (age 48)
Peoria, Illinois, United States
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Turned pro1996
PlaysLeft-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money$616,017
Career record16-41 (28.1%)
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 100 (7 June 2004)
Grand Slam singles results
Australian Open1R (2004)
French Open1R (2004)
Wimbledon1R (1997, 2004)
US Open2R (1997)
Career record18-27 (40.0%)
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 68 (11 March 1997)
Grand Slam doubles results
French Open3R (1997)
Wimbledon1R (1997)
US Open2R (1997)
Last updated on: 6 September 2021.

Jeff "Salzy" Salzenstein (born October 14, 1973) is an American left-handed former professional tennis player.[1] In 1986 he won the US Boys' 12 National Hard Court Tennis Singles Championship and Doubles Championship. His highest singles ranking was world No. 100 in June 2004, when he became the oldest American to break into the top 100 in men's tennis, at 30 years of age.[2] His career-high in doubles was No. 68 in November 1997.[2]

Early life

Salzenstein is Jewish, was born in Peoria, Illinois, and lived in Englewood, Colorado.[3][4][5] His father was a tennis coach, and his parents divorced when he was five years old.[6]

Tennis career

Early career

As a sixth-grader, in addition to playing tennis the 12-year-old, five-foot tall, 85 pound Salzenstein was an A student, the president of his sixth-grade class, the editor of its newspaper, and a basketball and soccer player.[3] In 1986 he won the US Boys' 12 National Hard Court Tennis Singles Championship (defeating Brian Dunn and Vince Spadea along the way) and Doubles Championship.[7][8][3] He was the 13th double winner in the tournament's 25-year history, and was also awarded the tournament's sportsmanship award.[3] That year he also made it to the final, where he lost in a final set tiebreaker, in the 12-and-under National Clay Courts Championship.[9]

In 1990 Salzenstein reached the quarter finals at the Under-16 Championships, and in 1992 he was ranked second in Under-18 boys in the United States.

He attended Cherry Creek High School (class of 1992) in Greenwood Village, Colorado.[10] As a freshman, Salzenstein played for the No. 1 singles Colorado state title, and as a sophomore he won the title.[11][12] As a junior, he was 5' 7" tall and weighed 120 pounds, was the team's # 1 singles player, and was runner-up in the state singles championship.[10][11] He won the singles state title as a senior, and was captain of the school tennis team.[13][10] In his high school career, his record was 74-6.[10]


Salzenstein attended Stanford University on a half-scholarship, earned an economics degree, played #1 singles his sophomore, junior, and senior years for the Stanford Cardinal, and was named an All-American in tennis two years in a row.[6][14] He reached the semifinals at the NCAA singles championships in 1995.[15] He won back-to-back team national titles with the team when he was its captain in 1995 and 1996.[13] He was PAC-10 All-Academic in 1994 (second team), and 1995 and 1996 (first team).[16] He was named the Senior Athlete of the Year at Stanford in 1996.[17]

Pro career

His first USTA win was in 1996, winning doubles titles with partner Justin Gimelstob. In 1996, Salzenstein won 23 matches in a row.[17]

At the 1997 US Open, he beat Mikael Tillström in the first round in four sets. At the Roland Garros doubles event, Salzenstein and partner Petr Korda made the round of 16.[15] That year he earned Rookie of the Year honors from Tennis Week.[17]

Salzenstein was injured for much of 1998 and 1999, and had surgeries before he was 24 years old on his knee and ankle.[6][18] He finished his degree at Stanford at this time.[15]

In May 2000, Salzenstein won the Tallahassee Challenger, beating Kevin Kim 6-3, 6-2. In November, he won the Urbana, Illinois Challenger, defeating Antony Dupuis 7-6 (4), 6-4 in the final. In 2001, he won the $50,000 Seascape Challenger at Aptos, California.[19][4] He won at Aptos in 2003 and at León, Mexico in 2004.[15]

Salzenstein played at the Australian Open, Roland Garros, and Wimbledon in 2004, and at the International Series Tournament at Delray Beach, where he made it to the semifinals.[15] In November 2004, he upset world No. 24 Ji?í Novák) in straight sets in Luxembourg. In 2004 he became the oldest American to break into the top 100 in men's tennis, when Salzenstein did it at 30 years of age.[20]

At 33 years of age, Salzenstein stopped competing in tennis, and moved into coaching.[6]


In 2001, Salzenstein was inducted into the Colorado Tennis Hall Of Fame.[17]

Post-playing career

Salzenstein is a certified nutritional therapist.[21] He is also the founder of JS Performance Tennis School in Denver, Colorado, the CEO of Tennis Evolution, and runs a YouTube tennis coaching channel that goes by the same name.[22][21] Among others, he has coached Vasilisa Bardina.[13][21][20]

See also


  1. ^ "10sBalls Shares A Report From The Tennis Congress By Craig Cignarelli". October 21, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Jeff Salzenstein | Overview | Tennis". ATP Tour.
  3. ^ a b c d "USTA Boys' 12 Tournament : Salzenstein Wins Singles and Doubles". Los Angeles Times. August 11, 1986.
  4. ^ a b Bob Wechsler (2008). Day by day in Jewish sports history
  5. ^ "Jeff Salzenstein | Bio | ATP Tour | Tennis". ATP Tour.
  6. ^ a b c d Botts, Jason (June 1, 2017). "Retired Pro Tennis Player Jeff Salzenstein".
  7. ^ Vince Spadea, Dan Markowitz (2006). Break Point; THE SECRET DIARY OF A PRO TENNIS PLAYER
  8. ^ "USTA National Junior Championships - Boys".
  10. ^ a b c d "49 Years of Excellence; Boys Tennis Team; Cherry Creek High School; THE RED TRAIN EXPRESS" (PDF).
  11. ^ a b Gegner, John. "A Dynasty in Denver". Sports Illustrated Vault.
  12. ^ "Denver CO Preps Sports". The Denver Post.
  13. ^ a b c Sarah Kuta (July 1, 2011). "Former tennis pro Salzenstein assumes instructing role".
  14. ^ Richtel, Matt (October 16, 2003). "A Coach's Digital Tools Take Center Court" – via
  15. ^ a b c d e "Salzenstein, Jeff". Jews In Sports. Retrieved 2016.
  16. ^ "All-Academic Honors". Stanford University Athletics.
  17. ^ a b c d "Inductees | Colorado District".
  18. ^ Peters, Keith (25 July 2001). "Salzenstein enjoying his current elevator ride in pro tennis". Palo Alto Weekly. Retrieved 2016.
  19. ^ Stanford, Volume 30, 2002.
  20. ^ a b Becker, Ricky (February 14, 2013). "Mythbusters: Do College Results Mean Anything to Professional Tennis Players?". Long Island Tennis Magazine.
  21. ^ a b c "Starwood Hotels renews sponsorship deal with US Open through 2014: This Week in Tennis Business with Justin Cohen".
  22. ^ TENNIS SERVE: POWERFUL & EASY Serve in 3-Steps, archived from the original on 2021-12-21, retrieved

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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