GW Men's Tennis in Search of Third Straight Atlantic 10 Title

GW celebrates after claiming its second straight A-10 title in 2012.

April 25, 2013

2013 Men's Tennis Championship Bracket | A-10 Championship Central | Lindner Family Tennis Center | @GWMensTennis | GW Men's Tennis on Facebook

 - The two-time defending champion George Washington men's tennis team returns to Mason, Ohio, for the second straight year for the 2013 Atlantic 10 Men's Tennis Championships, held from April 25-28 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center.

The second-seeded and Colonials, who are in search of their third straight conference crown, posted a 4-1 A-10 record this spring and received a first-round bye.  GW will face the winner of the seventh-seeded Richmond and 10th-seeded Fordham match in the quarterfinals on Friday at 1 p.m.

The A-10 Championship is a 14-team, single-elimination event and the winner of the 35th annual championship will receive the conference's automatic bid to compete in the NCAA Tournament. No. 30 VCU will compete in its first A-10 Championship as the No. 1 seed. The Rams, along with ninth-seeded Butler, joined the conference prior to the 2012-13 season. Charlotte is seeded third, followed by 2012 runner-up Xavier in fourth and Duquesne in fifth. Rounding out the 14-team field are Temple (sixth), Richmond (seventh), Saint Joseph's (eighth), Butler (ninth), Fordham (10th), Saint Louis (11th), St. Bonaventure (12th), Dayton (13th) and La Salle (14th).

The Colonials challenged themselves with a difficult schedule, highlighted by eight nationally ranked opponents, to prepare for a competitive conference championship. They produced a 15-6 overall record, including a 9-3 mark on the road, and have won eight of their last nine matches, their only blemish coming against VCU, 4-2, in the regular-season finale.

GW opened A-10 action in early March with consecutive 7-0 sweeps at Temple and Fordham less than 24 hours apart. Following spring break, the team traveled to Richmond for a 5-2 victory, then defeated Charlotte, 5-1, on the road two weeks later.  GW then fell to VCU on April 16 in the first-ever meeting between the two programs as conference foes.

The Buff and Blue debuted in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national rankings at No. 50 on Feb. 26, and reached as high as No. 45 for its highest-ever national ranking in seventh-year head coach Greg Munoz's tenure. The Colonials are led this season by seven-time A-10 Rookie Performer of the Week Danil Zelenkov, who owns an overall singles record of 18-8 and a dual-match record of 15-4 primarily at the No. 3 position. The Skopje, Macedonia product enters his first conference championship on a seven-match winning streak and has won 12 of his last 13 matches.

Junior newcomer Nikita Fomin - who will compete at the No. 1 spot in his first A-10 Championship - owns an overall singles mark of 21-8 and a record of 14-6 this spring. He and Zelenkov are 19-7 overall and 12-5 as the No. 2 tandem during the dual-match season.  Sophomore Francisco Dias, the reigning Atlantic 10 Performer and Rookie Performer of the Year, has produced a singles record of 17-13 and a 9-10 mark in dual-match action. He and No. 3 doubles partner senior Leonardo Lapentti are undefeated at 15-0, and the pair earned a No. 80 national ranking during the season. Junior Ulrik Thomsen owns an overall singles mark of 16-6 and a dual-match record of 11-4, while he and No. 1 doubles partner senior Alexander van Gils have gone 8-8 this spring.

The Lindner Family Tennis Center is home to the USTA's Western & Southern Financial Open, the largest professional summer tennis tournament in the nation outside of the US Open. The grounds are located approximately 20 miles north of Cincinnati and boast 16 hard surface, outdoor courts, including four permanent stadiums: Center Court (capacity: 11,435) and Grandstand Court (capacity: 5,000), along with the brand new Court #3 (capacity: 4,000) and Court #4 (capacity: 2,500). In August 2011, the Tennis Center completed a 5.4 acre expansion that included the addition of six new courts, a 2,750-square-foot enclosed ticket office, and a 10,000-square-foot entry plaza with nine gates. The new footprint of the Tennis Center spans 19.0 acres, up from 13.6 acres in 2010.

Competition begins on Thursday, April 25 at 9 a.m., with the final match of the day set to start at 3 p.m. The top two seeds, VCU and GW, earn a bye into Friday's quarterfinals. The first semifinal match is slated for 10 a.m., on Saturday, April 27, while the second semifinal contest is set for 1 p.m. The championship match will be played on Sunday, April 28 at 10 a.m. Follow the @GWMensTennis Twitter handle for live updates during the Colonials' matches.




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