An Exeter School pupil is looking to begin university life across the Atlantic this September. Matt Rutter, currently an Upper Sixth pupil, has been offered a place to study economics at the prestigious University of Pennsylvania. Here, he will also be able to develop his thriving tennis career as part of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), which saw both John Isner and Cameron Norrie (the current British number one) compete before joining the professional circuit.
Matt, who is based in Exeter, played at Junior Wimbledon in 2021 and, before Covid-19 was on target to be ranked among the top 50 junior players in the world. He currently undertakes a four-hour round trip to Bath three to four times a week to enable him to train at the Bath High Performance Academy.
This commitment to his sport has seen him play in 33 countries and across four continents, something which he also manages to fit around a full and demanding academic timetable.
It is this devotion to his academic life, as well as to his sport which has seen him receive three offers from Ivy League universities. However, it was the University of Pennsylvania (or Penn, as it is affectionately known), home to the Wharton Business School, whose economics course is regularly ranked in the world’s top 10, which stood out for Matt.
Of his decision to study abroad, Matt said: “As an Ivy Leave and an NCAA Division One Sports College, Penn will give me the opportunity to combine getting a world-class education with continuing to play high-level tennis as part of the US Tennis College Team and as an individual.
“My time at Exeter School has made this all possible – my development has been consistently supported and a bespoke timetable meant I could study 10 GCSEs, and now four A Levels, whilst allowing me time off each week to train and to compete as a GB representative. I am extremely grateful to the school and the staff for allowing me to fulfil both my academic and sporting ambitions.”
Matt, whose tennis role models are Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray hopes to balance his continued educational development with participation in ATP Futures and Challenger tournaments. Currently, only 10% of the players he competes against are in full-time education, the majority focusing purely on tennis.
Louise Simpson, head of Exeter School, said: “We are thrilled that Matt is excelling in both his academic life and his sporting career. He is an extremely committed, ambitious young man and we are delighted that we have been able to support him whilst he achieves so highly both on and off the court.
“Our school strives to offer each and every pupil the opportunities they deserve to carve their own identity, supporting them on their individual journeys and offering guidance to allow them to find their own special path in life. It’s clear that, for Matt, this journey will be particularly exciting to watch.”