Men's Tennis Stacking New Talent for 2010
July 26, 2010
MEMPHIS, Tenn.- On Monday, men's tennis head coach Paul Goebel announced David O'Hare and Cedric de Zutter signed NLIs with the U of M. With these commits, the Tigers are on their way to accumulating a total of five new players, four freshmen and one transfer, for the 2010-2011 season---making it the largest recruiting class in the program's history.
A native of Dublin, Ireland, O'Hare is the fourth-ranked U18 junior in Ireland and ninth in the senior singles rankings in Ireland. His best win against an ATP-ranked player came against Matteo Mauri of Italy, 6-4 6-4, who is ranked 1220.
O'Hare has been training with former top-ranked WTA player Justine Henin-Hardene in Belgium for the past year. He came across Memphis because of communication with assistant coach Mark Finnegan, who is also from Ireland, and former Tiger Michael Hayes from England.
"David was the first of five players to commit to the largest recruiting class in Memphis history," Finnegan said. "He is going to have a huge impact on the top of our line-up because of his massive game and large build. David is a strong six-foot-four player with a huge serve and aggressive groundstroke's. We have big expectations for David's future. I'll also enjoy having another Irish guy around. As a freshman recruit they don't come better."
O'Hare received offers from Tulane, Drake and LSU. He chose Memphis over going full-time pro because of the facilities, coaching staff and opportunity to play a tough schedule.
De Zutter who is from Eeklo, Belgium, said he is excited to be the first Belgian to play for the Tigers. A former national doubles champion of Belgium, De Zutter has several wins against top 1,000 ranked ITF juniors.
De Zutter said what he is most looking forward to is being able to concentrate on his tennis as much as he desires for the first time in his life. Being from a small town in Belgium, he has had to travel several hours every day to practice at the one of the top training centers in Belgium. Now that Cedric has tennis courts close by, he is going to be able to exploit all his talent that he has not fully unveiled.
"Cedric is one of those players who will flourish in the college environment," Finnegan said. "I have never met a young man who loves the Memphis Tigers more and he has not even arrived on campus yet. He is going to be an exciting player to watch grow and develop."
Information on the other new Tigers for 2010-2011 will be released soon.