Sept. 16, 2010
WACO, Texas -
The Baylor men's tennis team will begin the 2010 fall season by sending two players to the 11th-annual Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational held Fri.-Sun., Sept. 17-19, in Midland, Texas.
Sophomore Sergio Ramirez (Cali, Columbia) and freshman Robert Verzaal (Shreveport, La.) will make up the Baylor contingent in this weekend's event.
"It is a matter of just getting some match play in," head coach Matt Knoll said. "Tennis is a competition sport. Sergio and Robert just need to get up there and compete. Both have different objectives, but both are just trying to get better."
Ramirez is coming off of a season where he saw limited action in Baylor's singles lineup, going 9-2 for the year and 8-2 in dual-match play. Verzaal, Baylor's lone freshman on a veteran laden team, opens his college career after being rated the No. 1 recruit from the state of Louisiana by tennisrecruiting.net.
"Sergio didn't play a match this summer and Robert has made a lot of changes in his game since he got here this fall," Knoll said. "They are both just going to try to get a little better and this is a strong tournament in order for them to do that."
Both Ramirez and Verzaal will open the 64-man singles draw with byes as there are only 47 total singles players in the bracket. Ramirez will wait on the winner of SMU's Joe Hattrup and Conor Berg of New Mexico, while Verzaal will play either Alastair Barnes of Tulsa or Texas Tech's David Pace in his first match.
The Racquet Club event will feature players from 17 schools including Baylor, Boise State, Oklahoma, Pepperdine, Nebraska, SMU, Texas, Tulsa, Maryland, New Mexico, Abilene Christian, Texas A&M, San Diego, University of Texas- Arlington, Penn State, Texas Tech and TCU.
"It would be natural for them to be a little bit anxious and I think it is great for them to be able to get started early this fall and get some matches out of the way," Knoll said. "This tournament has always been great. They do a super job there and I know our guys are going to get a ton out of it. I hope they compete well and spend as much time on the court as possible this weekend."
The pair of Bears will also compete in 32-team doubles draw, which includes only 22 actual tandems. The Baylor duo will again have a bye in the first round as they get the winner of a match between Texas Tech's David Pace and Jeff Bryan or New Mexico's Carl Ho and Mads Hegelund.
Last season at the Invitational, former Bear Maros Horny and current junior Julian Bley both reached the quarterfinal round of the 32-player singles bracket before bowing out to the eventual tournament finalists. Baylor's other representative at the tournament, Attila Bucko, was the No. 4 seed at the event, but fell in the opening round. Baylor's lone doubles duo at the Invitational, Bley and Horny, lost in the opening round of 32.
For updated brackets for the Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational visit its website.
Seven other former and current Bears will be in individual action this weekend at the Austin Hill Country Classic Men's $15,000 Wild Card Singles event. Former Bears Denes Lukacs, Dominik Mueller and Attila Bucko are all listed in the Main Draw singles bracket with Lukacs garnering the No. 1 overall seed.
Current Bears Julian Bley, Roberto Maytin, John Peers and Kike Grangeiro will also participate in the event. Peers is the No. 3 seed, while Grangiero is the No. 7 seed and Maytin the eighth seed. The event at the Polo Tennis & Fitness Club in Austin is a non-sanctioned event meaning its results will not count towards any rankings.
For updated results of the tournament in Austin visit its web site.
Next week, Baylor will host the 10th-annual Baylor HEB Intercollegiate at the Baylor Tennis Center, Sept. 24-26.