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Men’s tennis heads to ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa

Junior Axel Geller (left) and sophomore Alexandre Rotsaert (right) are Stanford men's tennis' top returning players this season. The duo were exceptional individually in singles play and in doubles play; they ended the year ranked 21st in the nation in doubles. (LYNDSAY RADNEDGE/isiphotos.com)

While the Cardinal women opened their 2019-20 tennis season with competition in Malibu at the Women’s Collegiate Classic and in Moraga at the Saint Mary’s Invitational last weekend, Stanford men’s tennis will kick the season off on Wednesday at the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

At last year’s tournament, then-sophomore Axel Geller was the last standing of the Cardinal. He edged out Texas’ Christian Sigsgaard (6-2, 7-5) and Florida’s No. 20 Oliver Crawford (6-7(2), 6-4, 7-5) in a three-set comeback before falling to Georgia’s No 38. Emil Reinburg (6-3, 6-3) in the quarterfinals.

Teammate and then-freshman Alexandre Rotsaert was victorious in four matches of his own, three of which took place in the qualifying singles rounds. In the first round of the Singles Main Draw, Rotsaert secured a win over Wake Forest’s Melios Efstathiou (7-5, 6-4) but was unable to replicate his success in a second-round match against Texas A&M’s Valentin Vacherot, who defeated Rotsaert (6-4, 6-3). 

Geller and Rotsaert’s successes as young players continued throughout a large portion of the 2018-2019 season, though Geller missed two matches due to an injury. As a doubles duo, the two fought their way to a 13-7 overall record, while snagging the No. 21 ranking in the ITA poll. Both Geller and Rotsaert boasted intimidating singles records as well, with Rotsaert ending the season at No. 63 and Geller never dipping below No. 15. 

From last season, the Cardinal men graduated two seniors, Sameer Kumar ’19 and Michael Genender ’19. Throughout his Cardinal career, Kumar acquired an impressive 46 dual-match victories, tied for the 32nd-most in program history; he was also selected as the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2018 and served as the team’s captain last season. 

Stanford men’s tennis also adds freshmen Filip Kolasinski and Neel Rajesh to the roster this year. In 2018, Rajesh claimed the title of USTA Boys’ 18 National Clay Court champion and looks to add strong depth to the Stanford roster this season. 

While the pre-qualifying and qualifying rounds of the ITA American Championships began on Saturday and Monday, respectively, Main Draw action commences on Wednesday in Tulsa. 

Contact Savanna Stewart at savnstew ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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