CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Eight Arkansas tennis players are set to compete in the Icy Hot/Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American tournament beginning this weekend at Tennessee-Chattanooga with six playing on Friday.
Matt Roberts, Talley Parker, Imraan Ismail and Andrei Nicoara get started in the pre-qualifying round early Friday. Roberts plays Matija Sulin of Georgia State, Parker faces David Baxendine of Tennessee, Ismail meets Juan Pablo DiCesare of Ole Miss and Nicoara takes on Jhonny Berrido of Louisville.
Matt Simpson and Michael Jung received byes into the second round. Simpson plays the winner of the Niels Boksik (Texas-Arlington) and Jamie Friedland (Northwestern) match. Jung faces the Jeff French (Western Michigan)-Henrique Cancado (Old Dominion) match.
Doubles play also begins on Friday with Parker and Nicoara facing Devin Mullins and Dominick Ozanne of Ohio State.
“This is the toughest tournament in the country, and it’s the largest collegiate event in the country,” UA head coach Robert Cox says. “There are 192 players in the pre-qualifying round. You have to win four matches just to get to the qualifying round. All of our guys have the opportunity to win four matches and get through. They know it can be done.”
Last year, Nathan Price won six matches at the All-American while Adrians Zguns won four.
Two other Razorbacks, Zguns and Rohan Gajjar, begin play next week. Gajjar plays in the qualifying round on Monday while Zguns, ranked No. 10 in the nation, will be seeded in the main draw and will play on Thursday.
Gajjar and Simpson will play doubles along with Ismail and Roberts. Those teams play in the qualifying round on Monday.
If Roberts wins his opening match, he faces Tejeschwara Chigater of Montana State, Parker would play Dusan Tabak of Louisiana-Lafayette, Ismail would play Ryan Stotland of New Mexico and Nicoara would meet Eric Molnar of Alabama. All second round matches are also on Friday.