(Born August 16, 1964) -- Western New York isn’t known as a tennis hotbed, but the area can always claim a top-notch modern player as one of its one. Jimmy Arias turned out to better than most of us dreamed.
He grew up on Grand Island, and quickly dominated local play from a young age. After training in Florida, Arias turned pro at the age of 16.
The climb up from there was a swift one. Arias probably hit his peak at the ripe old age of 19 when he was ranked sixth in the world. He also won his biggest tournament, the Italian Open, along the way, and also reached the semifinals of the U.S. Open in that year.
Arias didn’t have as much success in 1984, but still climbed to fifth in the world at one point. That’s partly due to a trip to the fourth round at Wimbledon. However, physical problems became an issue around that point, and Arias never could take that next step.
Since his playing days ended, Arias has stayed involved in tennis. He’s done some coaching as well as worked on television broadcasts in the United States and Canada.
--- Budd Bailey
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