FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The University of Arkansas Razorback men’s tennis team finalized its fall roster this month with the addition of two more players as the first fall tournament draws near. Head coach Robert Cox announced that Jovan Parlic of Miami, Fla. and Christian Lee of Malaysia will join the team and bring the roster total to 12 for the season. Both Parlic and Lee will come in as freshman and have four years to play for the Razorbacks.
Parlic comes to Fayetteville by way of Miami Palmetto Senior High School where he was one of the top players in the state of Florida. During his senior season, Parlic reached the state finals in both singles and doubles and was named Miami’s best spring athlete by the Miami Herald at the end of the season. Before Miami, Parlic lived in his native country of Serbia where he was ranked in the top 10 in the junior national rankings.
“Jovan caught our eye with his raw talent,” Arkansas head coach Robert Cox said. “We know he can develop into a top of the lineup guy in the future. We’re real pleased to have him join us. He brings a freshness to the team and possesses a lot of talent. I think he’s going to be a sponge and soak up everything we can throw at him. He’s going to make contributions right off the bat in his first year. He’s got a big serve and a great forehand, we just have to develop an all-around game for him and he’s going to really help us in singles and doubles.”
Lee arrives at Arkansas off the international scene from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where he previously played at Garden International School and Saddlebrook Prepatory School. At Saddlebrook, Lee was coached by former Razorback Aleksey Bubis. Lee has played extensively in the ITF juniors circuit, earning a No. 1 ranking in the U12, U16 and U18 categories and a career high ranking of 270 overall. In singles, he has won 37 matches as well as 26 doubles matches during his time on the ITF circuit.
“Christian has a lot of worldwide experience. Aleksey has done a great job in grooming Christian in the Razorback way, so he already has an idea of what to expect. Christian just has a lot of tournament experience, which we really like and he comes from a tennis family.”
Parlic and Lee join Pete Thomason and Victor Hoang as the four newcomers for this years Razorback squad. With the first fall tournament just over a week away, Coach Cox said that he likes the chemistry his new players have brought to the team and knows how it can take a team a long way.
“I’m really pleased with all the news guys’ progress,” Cox said. “Our chemistry is very good for this early in the year. We’ve had great practices in just this first week.”
The men’s tennis team will kick off its fall season next weekend at the Midland Invitational and Purdue Invitational. Select players will participate in one of the two tournaments. Both run from Friday, Sept. 16 through Sunday, Sept. 18.