Sept. 10, 2008
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern assistant coach Chris Drake spent a large portion of his summer in France and England, but he was hardly on vacation. Drake dedicated his time mentoring the doubles team of Eric Butorac (United States) and Ashley Fisher (Australia), throughout the French Open and Wimbledon Championships.
"This was an unbelievable opportunity for me to coach at the highest levels of professional tennis," said Drake, now in his second season with the Wildcats. "I really took every chance to watch and talk with the best coaches in the world and I'm excited to apply what I learned with our student-athletes at Northwestern in the upcoming year."
At the French Open in May, Butorac and Fisher fell to one of the top five doubles teams in the world in Jonas Bjorkman and Kevin Ullyet (7-6, 1-6, 7-6). Butorac and Fisher proceeded to claim a five-set win in the first round at Wimbledon before bowing out to the team of Leander Paes and Lukas Dlouhy.
Drake also coached Butorac and Fisher through a series of other events this summer, including wins in doubles tournaments for Butorac in Los Angeles and for Fisher in Indianapolis, both ATP events.
Northwestern opens its 2008-09 campaign on Sept. 19 in the Milwaukee Tennis Classic.
While a student-athlete at Brown University, Drake racked up numerous honors as he led his team to its first Ivy League title. The two-time captain was a unanimous selection to the All-Academic Ivy League team in 2002 and '03 and was one of just seven players in the nation to win the 2003 Region I Rafael Osuna Award, which is given to a player that displays sportsmanship, character, excellence in academics and has outstanding tennis accomplishments.
After his graduation, Drake worked as a tennis instructor until he began play on the Futures Tour in 2004. In his first year on tour, he achieved ATP rankings in both singles and doubles play.
Drake then began playing on the ATP/Challenge Tour a year later, where he became the 10th-highest ranked American in the World, was the No. 1 seed in "The Championships Wimbledon" doubles qualifying event in 2006, defeated 12 players ranked in the top 50 of the ATP doubles rankings and won a total of six ATP Challenger doubles titles.