Francesca Di Lorenzo, who reached as high as No. 118 on the Women’s Tennis Association professional circuit, was named UCF women’s tennis assistant coach on August 28, 2023. A three-time All-American and Intercollegiate Tennis Association national champion, Di Lorenzo starred at Ohio State from 2016-17, winning the 2017 NCAA doubles championship.
Di Lorenzo joins the Knights after an illustrious playing career in both the collegiate and professional landscapes. As a member of the Ohio State women’s tennis team, recruited by then-associate head coach Koniecko, the Pittsburgh native twice reached No. 1 in the country in singles (2016-17), No. 3 in doubles (2017) and collected three ITA national singles championships, 2016 National Indoors, 2017 Singles All-Americans and 2017 National Indoors.
No stranger to conference championships, she led Ohio State to become Big Ten regular-season and conference champion in 2016 and 2017, collecting Big Ten Player of the Year and All-Big Ten honors in both years. The 2016 Big Ten Freshman of the Year was also named the Ohio State Female Athlete of the Year after earning two All-America awards and a doubles national championship in the 2017 dual-match season. Rounding out her collegiate tennis resume, she was named a Honda Award finalist in 2016 and 2017, an award granted to the best female collegiate tennis player in the country.
Di Lorenzo is one of the most decorated women’s tennis players in Ohio State history. She remains the program leader in both career singles and doubles win percentage at .914 and .887, respectively. In her two years as a Buckeye, she compiled a 74-7 record in singles and a 55-7 record in doubles. Di Lorenzo holds the Ohio State record for singles wins in a season with 37 as a sophomore and owns the freshman record for singles wins, collecting a 35-5 mark in her first season in Columbus.
Along with her playing honors, Di Lorenzo earned a bachelor’s degree in sports industry graduating magna cum laude. She was named to the ITA All-Academic (2017) and Academic All-Big Ten (2016 and 2017) teams, as well as collecting Big Ten Distinguished Scholar honors in 2017. To round out her stellar 2017 season, Di Lorenzo was named a CoSIDA Academic All-American, celebrating her achievements on the court and in the classroom, as the first Buckeye in program history to earn the award.
After the 2017 season, Di Lorenzo turned to the pro tennis circuit. She reached a career-high WTA singles ranking of No. 118 in 2020 and advanced to the second round of the U.S. Open in 2018 and 2019. Di Lorenzo also has played in the Australian Open, Roland-Garros and Wimbledon, earning qualifying wins in all four Grand Slam tournaments.
Di Lorenzo volunteered with the Buddy Up Program during her tenure at Ohio State where she worked with athletes with down syndrome, teaching them the foundations of tennis and fitness. In 2021, she took part in a coaching internship program, coaching aspiring young female tennis players, assessing skill levels and tailoring drills to advance the fundamentals. She also worked one-on-one with junior players to provide guidance on both the physical and mental aspects of the sport, developing strategies for specific opponents and improving mental toughness.