Just wanting to be like his big brother. That's how it all started for IMG Academy Bollettieri tennis program student, Jordan Cox. When he was eight years old, he looked up to his older eleven year old brother, Bradley Cox, which is how he became interested in playing tennis. At first it was just all fun and games until the age of sixteen, when he moved into the dorms at IMG Academy to train for tennis. The cafeteria food may not have been his favorite part, but living with kids that he also trained with and being immersed into the IMG culture is what made his experience enjoyable. Growing up around training tour professionals is what inspired Jordan to go professional himself. Jordan states, "Being surrounded by such players is what sort of sets the standard for students because you see how hard they work." As a student, some days Jordan was given the opportunity to hit with professionals like Kei Nishikori and Tommy Haas. An experience like this is unique for any player who has the aspirations to play professional tennis.
Not only was his brother the main reason why he began the sport, but he also serves as a major role model for Jordan in his tennis career. Bradley, who went on to play for University of Kentucky's varisty tennis team, helped Jordan develop as a player over the years. Bradley would play tournaments and train in areas before Jordan. Jordan would then learn from Bradley's experiences, "He has definitely helped me as much as he can throughout the whole process and he continues to help me now."
In 2009, Jordan made it the finals of Junior Wimbledon, which he claims, "came out of nowhere," after he qualified for the tournament. This was a major stepping stone for Jordan's tennis career and helped him build confidence to play on the pro tour.Recently, Jordan has signed with IMG and has decided to go on the path of professional tennis and not play collegiate tennis. At the time, it was not a difficult decision for him to give up the opportunity to play in college because it had been his dream to go pro. Since turning pro, Jordan has won a 15,000 future tournament, along with making it to the finals and semis of others.
However, Jordan has realized that there is a huge difference from playing juniors and playing professional. He knows there is still a lot more work he needs to do before reaching a final or semifinal of a grand slam tournament, which is where he hopes to be within the next five years. That's not the only goal in his five year plan. He would also like to be in the top 20 of the ATP Tour and hopefully have already won a grand slam title by then.
It is an extraordinary experience to travel the world and play tournaments like Jordan does. Nevertheless, he calls Bradenton home now and enjoys coming back. Being in Bradenton gives him the chance to relax and focus on tennis. Yet, it is not just all about tennis with Jordan. He also enjoys going to the movies and the local beach. He even admitted that he occasionally enjoys shopping. Most importantly, Jordan likes to make the most of his time and appreciate it.
Jordan's greatest advice to tennis students that want to be in his position is to work hard but also enjoy the process at the same time. Jordan really enjoyed playing and training in division 12s-18s. If you love the sport you play, it makes it easier to train and compete, and as a result you will succeed and do well. Jordan continues to say that you always have to remember to work hard because as you get older the competition gets tougher, "You have to put in 100% each day, and just see where it takes you."