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Hooper first on courts for men’s tennis

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Hooper first on courts for men’s tennis

FAYETTEVILLE — Perhaps the greatest singles player in Razorback tennis history, Chip Hooper helped Arkansas tennis gain national recognition in the early 1980s by earning a No. 1 national ranking and multiple All-America honors.

A two-time letterman in 1980 and ‘81, Hooper, in 1980, became the first Arkansas student-athlete to achieve the nation’s No. 1 ranking in singles. Hooper went 28-11 in 1980 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament to earn All-America honors for the first time. He became the first Razorback to earn multiple All-America honors in singles by again advancing to the NCAA quarterfinals in 1981.

In his junior season, he helped lead the Hogs to a school-record 31 wins for legendary head coach Tom Pucci, and reach the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. Hooper captured the Southwest Conference title at No. 1 singles in both 1980 and 1981, and led the Razorbacks to league crowns in both of those seasons. He also won the singles title at the 1981 ITA National Indoor Championship.

The Razorbacks finished the 1980 season ranked No. 7. In 1981, Arkansas was 26-4, again reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament and also finished the year ranked No. 6. That ranking is the highest in the program’s history.

Following his standout career at Arkansas, Hooper played on the pro tennis circuit, reaching as high as No. 17 in the world singles rankings. In 2003, Hooper was inducted into the Razorback Hall of Honor.



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