U of L men’s tennis gears up for Louisville Invitational

By on October 6, 2008

By Andrew Hornback

To  University of Louisville men’s tennis coach Rex Ecarma, this year’s Louisville Invitational is a chance to see his players realize their fullest potential. 
“It will be exciting for the fans to see a guy like Viktor [Maksimcuk] go for his first title,” Rex Ecarma, U of L men’s tennis head coach, said. “He has the potential to be a nationally ranked singles player. Playing here and being experienced is going to give him an advantage, but we’ll have to see if he can stay focused for five straight singles matches.”
U of L will host the Invitational at the Bass Rudd Tennis Center October 10-12, giving fans a chance to see the Cards compete against some of the best players from 15 other collegiate teams.
In-state rival Kentucky will be sending three of their players to the invitational, although there is no guarantee that a match between the Cards and the Cats will happen.
“We can’t say for sure if we will even get a chance to compete against them,” Ecarma said. “But if we do get the chance, my players will be up to the challenge.”
The only other Big East school in the tournament will be DePaul, who beat the Cards in the Big East tournament consolation last year 4-1.
“I really want to see us play against DePaul,” Ecarma said. “They upset us in the Big East championships last year, and they’re bringing their whole team. My number one focus is obviously helping my players win their divisions, but the one team I’m definitely looking at is DePaul.”
Ecarma plans to play six of his 10 players in the tournament, not including the Cards No. 26 doubles team of sophomores Austen Childs and Simon Childs.
Ecarma said he will also play Sumit Gupta in doubles and Robert Hall in singles.
“I feel that Viktor and Sumit can definitely be nationally ranked in doubles,” said Ecarma, who added that Hall’s play is similar to that of Alejandro Calligari, the freshman who won the tournament last year. “He’s looking for a breakout event.”
Gupta, a freshman, said he is ready for the challenge of playing at home for the first time.
“The fans can expect to see some really good tennis from me,” Gupta said. “I believe in competition so they will get to see a Card fighting out there to make everyone from Louisville proud.”
The team has already played in a few tournaments this year and has had a bit of success on the way. Ecarma said that he likes the way the team has looked so far in the early part of the season.
“I’m proud of how we have been playing so far this year,” Ecarma said. “Andrew [Carter], Robert [Rotaru], everyone is playing well. Every weekend we’ve been getting positive results from different people, the depth of our team is really starting to show.”
Although No. 26 Austen Childs and Simon Childs will not be in action at the invitational, they will be playing in the All-American Championships beginning tomorrow. Nov. 15 likely marks the first time the fans will see them at home at the Cardinal Open.

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