FROM STAFF REPORTS
Former Virginia men’s tennis player Alexander Ritschard will be playing on the sport’s grandest stage next week.
Ritschard advanced through qualifying to earn a spot in the men’s singles main draw at Wimbledon, which runs June 27-July 10 at the All England Club. After just missing out on qualifying for the French Open last month, Ritschard qualified to play in a Grand Slam for the first time in his career.
Ritschard, who is currently ranked No. 192 in the world, defeated Croatian Duje Ajdukovic 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 in the qualifying final to earn a spot in the Wimbledon main draw. The former Wahoo opened the qualifying tournament with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 win against Stuart Parker and followed with a 6-3, 6-2 victory against Nicolas Kicker to advance to the final.
During his time at UVa, Ritschard helped the Cavaliers win three straight NCAA national team championships from 2015-17. During his senior season, he played at the No. 1 singles position, was named the ITA Atlantic Region Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award Winner and the ITA Atlantic Region’s Most Improved Senior while also earning a place on the All-ACC second team. Ritschard has won five Futures titles in his professional career and made the finals of the Forli Challenger in Italy last year.
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Ritschard becomes the 16th different Cavalier to play in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament. At least one UVa alum has played in each of the last 53 Grand Slams, dating back to 2009 Wimbledon.
Navarro named to summer team
Virginia women’s tennis player Emma Navarro has been named to the 2022 USTA Collegiate Summer Team, the organization announced Thursday.
The top 10 American college players (five men, five women) were selected for the training program designed to help America’s premier college players assimilate to professional tennis in a team-oriented environment via the USTA Pro Circuit.
Each of the players was selected based on a number of criteria, including rankings, individual collegiate tournament results or Intercollegiate Tennis Association honors. Players on the team are eligible to receive a grant for travel to USTA Pro Circuit events and coaching support over the summer.
Vanderbilt assistant coach Hayley Carter will accompany the women’s players at the tournaments and also provide assistance to any American collegians playing at tournaments throughout the summer.
Navarro also was a member of the 2021 USTA Collegiate Summer Team.