Christo Steyn (1982-83)
Coral Gables, Fla. - Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Christo Steyn stepped foot on the Coral Gables campus ranked No. 7 among top world juniors and as a 1979 qualifier in the World Pepsi Junior Championships which pit top eight world juniors against each other.
As a freshman during the 1979-80 academic school year, Steyn compiled an overall record of 18-5 in singles play and a 12-5 mark in doubles competition while paired with fellow countryman and freshman Fred Sauer. To reach the 18 win plateau, Steyn put together two six-match win streaks, one of which he opened his Hurricane career with.
With an impressive first season, Steyn only got better as time went on. In his sophomore campaign, Steyn went 19-5 in singles play. On his way to 19 wins and his emergence as the University's top singles player, Steyn disposed of Derek Tarr (Auburn), Pat Perrin (Alabama), and Bill Rodgers (Georgia) - some of the best in the east. Steyn closed out the season with eight consecutive wins including a clean sweep over Rodgers. In doubles competition, Steyn and his partner Mike Brunnberg formed one of the top doubles teams in collegiate tennis. Their record of 13-1 proved that. At the time, the biggest win of Steyn's Miami career came in the season finale against Georgia. A 6-4, 6-2 victory over the Bulldogs No. 1 team gave the Hurricanes an insurmountable lead and the undisputed claim to the No. 1 ranking in southeastern region.
As a junior, Steyn outdid both his freshman and sophomore seasons. Playing the entire season out of the No. 1 position and on his way to an overall single season record of 22-6, Steyn advanced to the semifinals of the 1982 NCAA tournament where he lost to eventual champion Mike Leach of Michigan. His impressive run during the tournament and success during the regular season catapulted Steyn to the No. 10 ranking in collegiate tennis. While teamed with Brian Levine, Steyn produced a mark of 11-7 in doubles competition. For his success on the court, Steyn was selected to the 1982 All-America team.
Not be to outdone by his success the previous three seasons, Steyn put forward his best foot during his senior campaign. On his way to a 27-7 record in singles, Steyn not only won 13 consecutive matches but he won back to back singles titles both of which came at the expense of his teammates. He defeated Henri de Wet to claim the Rice Invitational and Ira Schwartz to claim the Pinellas County Tennis Championship. Teaming up primarily with Nick Badenhorst, Steyn went 14-8 in doubles competition. Steyn finished the season tied for the No. 16 ranking in singles and the No. 25 ranking in doubles.
Having had the opportunity to turn pro after his junior season but deciding to pass, when Steyn finally decided to turn pro after his senior year, he captured two doubles titles and was a finalist five other times. In August of 1986, Steyn reached his highest ranking of No. 42.
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