Two Tigers Earn First ATP Points
July 26, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn.--Members of Tiger tennis have been heating up the summer circuit, headlined by rising sophomores Cedric de Zutter and David O'Leary becoming the first active members in program history to snag ATP rankings. De Zutter acquired six points in doubles and is now ranked 1376th in the world in doubles. The Eeklo, Belgium, native has also complied an 18-10 singles record so far this summer playing in his home country's circuit. Last year in his freshman campaign for the Tigers, De Zutter produced an overall 11-4 singles mark competing primarily at the No. 6 slot.
The other Memphis netter to break into the rankings, currently sitting at No. 1597 in singles, was David O' Leary. O'Leary, who joined the U of M program last January, but will gain eligibility this fall, got his first ATP point after taking down three ranked ATP players.
"Having two players earn world rankings just shows how competitive we will be next year," University of Memphis assistant coach Mark Finnegan said. "Our guys are hungrier than ever to make sure they earn their spot in the lineup and it shows in how much preparation they are putting in before they get here."
A third rising sophomore, Joe Salisbury of London, England, is also close to picking up his first ATP point, having beaten six professionally ranked players on the British tour. Salisbury, who finished with a 12-10 singles record at the top two slots in his first season donning the Blue and Gray, nearly beating 400th-ranked David Rice, dropping by a narrow 7-6 score in a third-set tiebreak. He also went to a third set with Danish opponent Frederick Nielson, ranked No. 200 in the world, before falling 7-5.
Johnny Grimal, from Barcelona, Spain, won seven matches to reach the semifinals of the main draw at the AEGON British Tour in Nottingham, England, before falling to the eventual draw champion, 1-6, 6-4, 6-2. Grimal tallied a 15-6 singles record at the No. 3-5 positions in his first year in the Bluff City.
This past weekend at an ITA Summer Circuit event hosted by the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Memphis' Daniel Shidler beat LSU freshman Matthew Zachary 4-6, 7-5, 1-0, in the round of 64 and took down Alabama freshman Ian Chadwell, the No. 8 seed in the tournament, 7-6 (7-3), 0-6, 1-0. Shidler, a Southaven, Miss., native who is entering his second year at the U of M, fell in the round of 16 Brendan Fickey, a freshman from the University of Tennessee, 1-6, 6-4, 1-0 (11-9).
"It's so exciting to see how successful the guys have been doing over this summer period," Finnegan said. "It's the most competitively I have ever seen our team play during this period."