Nov. 7, 2012
WACO, Texas - Baylor men's tennis freshman Julian Lenz has earned one of nine At-Large bids into the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships and will start play in the 32-man singles draw on Thursday.
The event is held at the USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, in Flushing, New York, the home of the US Open each summer.
"I am excited for Julian to be in this type of environment," head coach Matt Knoll said. "He is a good player and he has made a lot of improvements since coming to Baylor. I think he is on the right track and I am encouraged by how hard he is working."
The men's singles field features seven of the top 10 players from the Campbell/ITA Men's Preseason Rankings. Draws for the event will be released on Wednesday night. In the opening round, Lenz will face Florida's Florent Diep, who is ranked No. 101.
"The competition is going to be tremendous," Knoll said. "Julian is really looking forward to it and I think it will be a great way for us to finish our fall season."
At last month's USTA/ITA Texas Regional, Lenz fell just short of winning the singles title and earning an automatic bid into the national tournament. The freshman was beaten in the final round by 46th-ranked Daniel Whitehead of Texas. In semifinal action, Lenz upset the 77th-ranked Nick Chappell of TCU.
For the fall season, Lenz is 10-3 overall and 2-3 versus ranked opponents.
"This will be a chance for us to see how that stuff we are working on in practice translates to the matches," Knoll said. "We saw flashes of what Julian can do at the regional and now he just needs to keep that up for an entire tournament."
A total of 12 regionals were held across the country in October with the winners of the singles and doubles brackets advancing to the national event.
In the past Baylor has had success in the National Indoor Championships with Benjamin Becker making it to the finals in 2001 and Benedikt Dorsch taking the title in 2002. Since 2001, Baylor has had 17 players compete in the national event in both singles and doubles action.