LOS ANGELES (Jan. 4, 2017) – To say this year’s University of Virginia men’s tennis team is the most talented in college tennis would be a huge understatement. They’re downright loaded.
On the day college tennis’ first preseason Oracle ITA Collegiate Tennis Rankings for the 2017 season were released, five Cavaliers players from the No. 1-ranked Virginia team won first-round matches at the Southern California Men’s Pro Futures Tournament, a $25,000 Pro Circuit event taking place on the college campus of USC.
For the second straight day, all eight first-round winners are current or former college players, meaning all 16 players with college ties are into the second round in Los Angeles.
The two-time defending NCAA champion Virginia team went 5-0 on the day, and got wins from the following current players:
- Qualifier Collin Altamirano had the most impressive win on the day as the Virginia junior upset top-seeded Tommy Paul in three sets, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3. Altamirano is a former Kalamazoo Boys’ 18s National Hardcourts champion from Sacramento, Calif.
- J.C. Aragone felt right at home on the Southern California hardcourts having grown up just 35 miles south of USC in Yorba Linda in Orange County. Awarded a wild card, he beat Russian Markos Kalovelonis, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.
- A junior from Kirkland, Wash., Henrik Wiersholm also worked his way through qualifying and beat Swedish qualifier Jonathan Mridha in two tiebreakers, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3).
- Senior Thai-Son Kwiatkowski is the Cavaliers emotional leader and back in September won the US Open American Collegiate Invitational. He bested Switzerland’s Antoine Bellier, 6-4, 6-4.
- Freshman Carl Soderlund is one of three international players for Virginia Coach Brian Boland’s team and is currently ranked No. 453 in the ATP World Tour rankings. The No. 8 seed at USC this week, he beat Stanford’s Sameer Kumar, 6-4, 6-2. Soderlund, just 19, already had won two career ITF pro singles events.
Heavy rain is expected to drench Southern California on Thursday, but if there is play all have their eyes toward the second-round matchup between 2014 NCAA singles champion Marcos Giron and 2016 NCAA champ Mackie McDonald, both formerly of UCLA. The other match to watch is the veteran Kwiatkowski facing off against the new kid in town Soderlund.
Wednesday’s First-Round Singles Scores
wc: wild-card; q: qualifier; ll: lucky loser
Karue Sell, Brazil (q), def. Timur Khabibulin, Timur (q), Kazakhstan, 6-3, 6-2
Collin Altamirano, U.S., (q) def. Tommy Paul, U.S. (1), 4-6, 6-0, 6-3
J.C. Aragone, U.S. (wc), def. Markos Kalovelonis, Russia, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4
Henrik Wiersholm, U.S. (q), def. Jonathan Mridha, Sweden (q), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3)
Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, U.S., def. Antoine Bellier, Switzerland, 6-4, 6-4
Gage Brymer, U.S. (q) def. Mousheg Hovhannisyan, U.S. (ll), 6-1, 6-2
Evan King, U.S., def. Martin Redlicki, U.S. (q), 6-4, 6-2
Carl Soderlund, Sweden (8), def. Sameer Kumar, U.S., 6-4 6-2
Wednesday’s Second-Round Doubles Scores
Luke Bambridge, Great Britain / Joe Salisbury, Great Britain (1), def. Dekel Bar, Israel / Nathaniel Lammons, U.S., 6-3, 7-5
Yannick Hanfmann, Germany / Roberto Quiroz, Ecuador, def. Collin Altamirano, U.S. / Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, U.S. (wc), 6-4, 6-3
Marcos Giron, U.S. / Clay Thompson, U.S., def. Brandon Holt, U.S. / Riley Smith, U.S. (wc), 6-1, 6-2
Markos Kalovelonis, Russia / Timur Khabibulin, Kazakhstan, def. Sebastian Bader, Austria / Sebastian Fanselow, Germany, 6-4, 1-6, 10-7
Community Events for the USC Tournament include:
Friday, Jan. 6: NJTL Community Reception; 3 p.m., includes doubles final.
Saturday, Jan. 7: Youth Tennis Play Day; 10 a.m.-11 a.m., includes pizza and prizes.
Sunday, Jan. 8: USPTA Clinic – Preventing Injuries Presented by USC Coach Peter Smith; 10 a.m.-11 a.m.