Jackson Withrow is into the third round of the men’s doubles event with partner Jackson Withrow. But no matter what happens on the court the rest of the fortnight, Withrow has already won.
On Monday, the former Texas A&M standout got engaged to his fiancée, Allie Sweeney. Fittingly, their story began at the US Open three years ago.
The 2020 tournament was played in a bubble because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Withrow met Sweeney when she was working at the player services desk.
“I wanted to focus on my tennis for a long time and had the goal coming here with a coach and ended up getting distracted a little bit by a girl at the player desk,” Withrow told ATPTour.com. “I was trying to figure out what her deal was… I got her number and ended up just texting a little bit here and there. But now that we’re here three years later, full circle, engaged this past Monday, it’s a pretty beautiful story.”
Photo Credit: Olivia Wenzel Photography
Plans for Withrow’s engagement first began last November and in February, he asked Sweeney’s parents for their approval. But despite the urge to pop the question earlier, he held out until this week.
“I wanted New York to be special and New York’s always been a special place for me,” Withrow said. “It’s the first time I made a [major] quarter-final here with Jack [Sock] and this place has always felt like home. I wanted to bring that feeling towards us and what that meant for our relationship.
“It’s so tough, because you don’t want to be cliché and make it a tennis proposal. She played college tennis, and I wanted to at least make it separate from the tennis aspect. I wanted us to have our moment, but also for it to be a special place. New York is that special place for us.”
Withrow’s on-court success further complicated his plans. Lammons and Withrow won their third title of the season in Winston-Salem, so he arrived in New York relatively late. Monday, he finally got to the big moment.
“It was a funny story. I ended up blowing by the spot where I was supposed to do it. And the photographer texted me saying, ‘Oh, you missed it, come back.’ So now I was making this excuse to come back,” Withrow said. “Finally, the spot that we had this picture was on this rock right next to the water in Central Park and I originally missed the rock. I almost fell into the water. So I was like man, that would have made a pretty funny first start of how I was going to ask her to marry me.”
After the best possible start to the week, Lammons is excited to see what the rest of his US Open holds.
“I was joking about it yesterday with our families and stuff. I was like, ‘Man, if we were to go deep here, have a semis or even maybe hoist the trophy, I may have to put the engagement on the backburner as best moments of being in New York,’” Withrow joked. “But at the end of the day, I think there’s things that you get to appreciate and I’ve gotten to appreciate tennis more, because Allie has been such a big part of my tennis.
“I’ve never really dated a tennis girl. And I always kind of wanted to separate the two and now that she’s been involved with my tennis, she gets on court with me, she’s amazing with that stuff. I really trust her with my game and being able to kind of use her as a person that I kind of really trust. And she has been amazing.”
Lammons and Withrow will next play top seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski. In the Winston-Salem final, the Americans defeated Skupski and Lloyd Glasspool. Although they have tried not to look at the Pepperstone ATP Live Doubles Teams Rankings, they are currently in 10th place and making a push to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time.
“Now that we feel like we’ve been a staple on the tour this year and have our proven results, we feel confident,” Withrow said. “And we’re just trying to ride the wave a little bit.”