For American tennis player Kristie Ahn, a first-round victory at the 2019 U.S. Open on Tuesday meant that she could delay her plans for a corporate job a little bit longer.
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Ahn, 27, defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova in straight sets on Tuesday to earn her first-ever Grand Slam victory. She is set to face Anna Kalinskaya in the second round on Thursday.
The win provided some validation for Ahn, who turned pro at age 16 after a successful amateur career but mulled retirement as recently as 2017 amid middling results on the court. Ahn’s parents have supported her tennis career, but also harbor hopes that she’ll put her degree from Stanford University to use in the corporate sphere.
“My dad was like, ‘So, this is a bit of a problem. … How are you gonna get into corporate America if you keep winning?’” Ahn told the New York Post. “He’s very keen on me hanging up the racket and getting a 9-to-5 job, but I’m gonna try and milk this as long as I can.”
A New Jersey native, Ahn graduated from Stanford with a degree in science, technology and society. She is currently ranked No. 141 in the world.
When Ahn’s tennis career hit a rough patch, her parents chipped in to help with expenses.
“I made a deal with my parents — they kind of helped me from 2014 to 2017 financially, and my dad, literally, I swear, had a calendar countdown, saying, ‘We’re almost there. It’s almost the end of 2017. Get ready to look for jobs. Do you have a résumé ready?’” Ahn added. “Now, my dad’s worried.”
Ahn’s second-round match begins at 11 a.m. ET on Thursday.