Oct. 2, 2013
TULSA, Okla. (SMU) - Arturs Kazijevs advanced to the main draw in singles and the duo of Nate Lammons and Alex Sanders qualified to the main draw in doubles at the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla., on Wednesday.
Kazijevs defeated Danil Zelenkov of George Washington in straight sets 6-1; 6-4 to secure qualification into the singles main draw. Zelenkov is a sophomore and received Atlantic 10 First Team honors as a freshman. Zelenkov also was ranked as high as No. 83 in the world in ITF junior rankings prior to arriving at George Washington.
Lammons and Sanders continued their hot streak by beating doubles pairs from North Carolina and Utah. Lammons and Sanders defeated No. 45 Brett Clark and Esben Hess-Oleson of UNC first with an 8-6 score. Clark, a sophomore, was the No. 3 rated senior coming out of high school and Hess-Oleson is ranked 28th nationally in singles. Hess-Oleson had a successful fall season in 2012, including advancing to the National Indoor Championships in New York City.
SMU's duo then beat Slim Hamza and Cedric Willems of Utah, 8-5, to clinch their spot in the main draw. Hamza, a junior, is ranked 84th in singles and was ranked as high as 37th nationally last season. Willems, also a junior, was a top-ranked player in the Netherlands as a junior, and won the Dutch Junior National Indoor Championship in 2011.
"Today was a very good day for us," SMU Head Coach Carl Neufeld said. "We won some matches against some top-ranked competition. It's a great accomplishment to advance in the toughest tournament in the fall."
Lammons and Sanders are now 6-0 to start the year. This season marks the first that the two have played doubles together, and they are acclimating quite well.
"It's great to see them combine for the first time and play so well," Neufeld said. "They're showing they can compete at a top national level. We pride ourselves on strong doubles play."
Lammons and Sanders will take on No. 57 Gordon Watson and Elliott Orkin of Florida in the first round of the main draw tomorrow.
For more information on the ITA All-American Championships, click here.