By Shan Reddy
Stanford’s men’s tennis team headed to the University of Tulsa for the Saint Francis Health System ITA Men’s All-American Championship this week. The first round began with singles and doubles matches in the rounds of 64 on Friday.
The University of Tulsa is hosting for the 13th year, with matches all being played at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center. Singles quarterfinalists, the consolation singles champion and runner-up, the doubles semifinalists, and the consolation doubles champion and runner-up will all advance alongside the singles and doubles champions to the 2018 Oracle ITA National Fall Championships, which will take place Nov. 7-11.
Notable past winners of the singles championship include James Blake, Bob Bryan, MaliVai Washington and John Isner, who is currently ranked 10th internationally in pro men’s singles by the Association of Tennis Professionals.
Stanford has a strong history of success in the tournament, having won the most men’s singles titles of any competing school with six. The University of Georgia and the University of Virginia both have five.
This year, sophomore Axel Geller and freshman Alexandre Rotsaert represented Stanford in singles. Stanford did not send a doubles team to the tournament.
Geller, a 6’4” player from Argentina, was listed as the top overall junior tennis player by the International Tennis Federation in the end of 2017 year rankings. He also won the 2017 Wimbledon Junior Championships in doubles alongside Hsu Yu-hsiou and was runner-up in singles.
Geller started his run strong with a first round win Thursday against Texas’ Christian Sigsgaard (6-2, 7-5). He went on to handily take down Mississippi State’s Giovanni Oradini (6-3, 6-2) on Friday. After losing the first set in tiebreak to strong service by Florida’s Oliver Crawford, Geller came back from behind to take the three set battle (6-7(2), 6-4, 7-5) in the third round before falling to Georgia’s Emil Reinberg (6-3, 6-3) in the quarterfinals. Reinberg lost in the next round (6-0, 7-6(4)) to Ohio State’s JJ Wolf, who will be playing in the tournament finals tomorrow against Mississippi State’s Nuno Borges.
Rotsaert took his sole victory against Wake Forest’s Menelaos Efstathiou (7-5, 6-4) in the first round before losing to Texas A&M’s Valentin Vacherot (6-2, 6-1) in the second. Vacherot fell in the next round, defeated by Illinois’ Alex Brown (6-4, 6-4).
The championship will wrap up with the tournament finals tomorrow morning.
Contact Shan Reddy at rsreddy ‘at’ stanford.edu