ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Based on their strong performances at the Wilson/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regional at Tulsa three weeks ago, four Arkansas tennis players begin competition Thursday in the ITA National Intercollegiate Championships.
Junior Rohan Gajjar reached the finals in singles, and the doubles team of junior Matt Roberts and senior Imraan Ismail won the doubles title to earn bids. Junior Adrains Zguns, based on his No. 10 national ranking, earned an at-large invitation.
Gajjar and Zguns are two of only 32 players in the singles draw, and Roberts and Ismail are one of only 16 doubles teams competing in the tournament.
“There are approximately 3,000 men’s Division I players in the country,” UA head coach Robert Cox says. “For those guys to make this field is a tremendous achievement.”
Arkansas has a history at the National Indoors. Chip Hooper won the singles title in 1981 and Joey Blake won in 1986. Oskar Johansson reached the finals in 2001. Last year, Nathan Price reached the finals of the consolation bracket.
Gajjar faces the No. 1 seed, Catalin Gard of Ole Miss, and Zguns meets Nathan Thompson of Clemson. Roberts and Ismail play Jason Beren and Martin Wetzel of Harvard.
Gard is ranked No. 1 in the nation while Thompson is No. 27.
Gajjar went 5-1 at the regional tournament and is 10-4 going into his match against Gard. Zguns is 5-4. Gajjar is ranked No. 118 in the nation, but should move up after his performance this fall.
Roberts and Ismail (9-2) went 5-0 at the regional tournament and beat Tulsa’s Achim Roth and Aleksander Charpantidis, 8-5, to win the title.