Roberts named Southwest Leadership and Sportsmanship Award winner
TEMPE, Arizona – Arizona State Sun Devils men’s tennis player Justin Roberts, a senior, was granted the Southwest region Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award, as announced by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) on Saturday morning.
Roberts played a huge leadership role on a relatively young Arizona State University (ASU) men’s tennis squad, representing the only senior on the nine-man roster. The graduate student transferred to Arizona State for his final season and made an immediate impact both on and off the court for Coach Matt Hill.
The Bahamian played three seasons at the University of South Florida (USF) – two of which were under Hill – where he advanced to the Round of 16 in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament in men’s doubles during his freshman year and notched a top-five upset, also in tandem play. Roberts made the jump to Tempe, Arizona, for his senior season, following Coach Hill, and providing valuable leadership along the way. His experience helped escalate the Sun Devils men’s tennis’ return to prominence.
Roberts posted a 10-8 win-loss record in singles play in 2019, primarily at the number three spot for the Sun Devils. He proved to be of utmost importance in the Sun Devils’ second straight Territorial Cup Series points victory over the University of Arizona Wildcats, clinching the victory with a 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 singles win.
Roberts and doubles partner Makey Rakotomlala also anchored courts two and three all season long, putting up an 11-8 win-loss record as a pair.
After exhausting his eligibility at the conclusion of the 2019 season last month, Roberts said he plans to play a slate of professional tennis over the summer and then return to Tempe in the fall to train and complete his master’s degree in Sports Law and Business. He is expected to be the first Sun Devils men’s tennis player since the program’s reinstatement to earn a degree. He plans to graduate in December of 2019.