Oct. 3, 2009
The Baylor men's tennis team continues its fall tournament schedule with three student-athletes participating in the D'Novo ITA All-American Championships. Play will be held at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center at the University of Tulsa with qualifying play, Oct. 5-7, followed by main draw action Oct. 8-11.
"This tournament is an important part of our fall season's developmental process," men's tennis head coach Matt Knoll said. "Everyone is excited to get back on the court."
Representing the Bears in competition will be senior Attila Bucko, junior Jordan Rux and sophomore Julian Bley. Bucko and Bley will start in the qualifying draw, while Rux will begin in the main draw.
In order to be eligible for tournament participation players had to be approved by a selection committee that examined preseason rankings, overall performance from the previous year, and position and ranking of the team. Baylor finished out last year ranked No. 7 and each of the three players are ranked in the ITA preseason poll with Rux at No. 27, Bucko at No. 85 and Bley at No. 113.
Highlighting this year's men's singles field is top seed and 2008 Runner-Up, Oleksandr Nedovyesov of Oklahoma State. Also taking part in this year's event and rounding out the top 10 of the Campbell/ITA men's singles preseason rankings (in order): John-Patrick Smith of Tennessee, Robert Farah of USC, Nate Schnugg of Georgia, Guillermo Gomez of Georgia Tech, Dimitar Kutrovsky of Texas, Alex Clayton of Stanford, Jean-Yves Aubone of Florida State, Sanam Singh of Virginia and Saketh Myneni of Alabama.
Last week en route to winning the singles championship at the HEB Baylor Intercollegiate Invitational Rux took down Nedovyesov in straight sets 6-4, 7-6(4). Rux has not dropped a set in his six singles matches this fall season. Last season, Rux started in the qualifying draw at the ITA All-American and made his way up to the round of 32, falling just one win short of advancing to the main draw.
"Jordan's challenges are the same in that he'll try to establish his offense and stay in the present throughout each match," Knoll said.
Bucko is 4-3 on the young season and advanced to the quarterfinals last week. In last year's All-American tournament he fell in the opening round of qualifying and fell again in the consolation bracket.
"Attila didn't play any matches over the summer and was rusty," Knoll said. "We saw some flashes of excellence at the HEB that are encouraging. He just needs to stick to his guns a bit more and he'll do well."
Bley has compiled a 3-3 mark in two tournaments this season, but was sent to the consolation bracket of last week's Intercollegiate after dropping his opening round match. Last year at the ITA All-American, Bley lost in the opening round of qualifying, but rebounded to win his consolation match.
"Julian made a decision to play a more aggressive style in the first two tournaments," Knoll said. "His results suffered as a result in the short term, so we'll see this week if the experiment will bring some results."
A pre-qualifying draw, Oct. 3-4, precedes the qualifying round and will consist of 256 singles players with 16 advancing. The qualifying draw consists of 128 singles players with 16 singles advancing to the main draw. There will be an optional consolation for first round losers in the qualifying draw. Main draw play will include 64 singles players with mandatory consolation for first round losers.
Tournament draws and results can be viewed here for next week's matches.