Tuesday May 24, 2011Draws Set for Florida's Lacroix and Bangoura at 2011 Men's Tennis Individual Championships
Florida men’s tennis senior Alexandre Lacroix (Paris, France) and sophomore Sekou Bangoura Jr. (Bradenton, Fla.) on Tuesday learned their draws in the NCAA Individual Championships, which open May 25 at the Taube Tennis Center on the Stanford University campus in Stanford, Calif.
Lacroix, the sixth-overall seed in the singles field, will face Jaak Poldma of Southern California at 5:30 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday. Lacroix is 35-10 in singles matches during the 2010-11 season. Poldma holds an Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national singles ranking of No. 38.
Bangoura, a 2011 first-team All-SEC player who holds a No. 40 national singles ranking, squares off against eighth-seed Henrique Cunha of Duke at 2:30 p.m. Eastern, also on Wednesday. Bangoura holds a 31-12 singles record in 2010-11.
Both Lacroix and Bangoura will participate in the 64-player singles draw. The two also form the nation’s17th-ranked doubles pair and will be among the 32 duos vying for the doubles crown.
Doubles action kicks off on Thursday, with the Florida pair set to take on California’s Nick Andrews and Christoffer Konigsfeldt. A start time for the match has not yet been determined. Lacroix defeated both Konigsfeldt and Andrews in singles during the Napa Valley Classic in September 2010. Bangoura and sophomore Billy Federhofer (North Miami, Fla.) played Andrews and Jonathan Dahan in doubles on Oct. 6, 2010, in the final round of qualifying for the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla., a match the California pair won, 8-6. No Gator pair faced Andrews and Konigsfeldt together this season.
It will mark Lacroix’s third time in the NCAA singles championship (also in 2009 and 2010) and his second in the doubles draw. He previously competed in NCAA doubles in 2010 with Antoine Benneteau, who is now a student assistant coach for the Gators.
In total, the SEC placed 15 players in the singles draw and seven teams in the doubles draw, nearly one-fourth of the entire field in each case.
Playing his last collegiate event, Lacroix has an opportunity to continue making an impact on the UF record books. He can extend his school records for career overall wins (210) and career doubles wins (101), and his 109 career singles wins are one shy of tying Greg Ouellette (2005-08) for fourth all-time at Florida.
With a deep run, Lacroix could ascend as high as third on Florida’s singles list, needing to reach the quarterfinals to tie Mark Merklein (1991-94) at third with 112. The top two singles positions are out of reach with Justin O’Neal (1997-2000) at 120 and Jeff Morrison (1998-2000) at 117.
Gator men’s tennis has won three individual NCAA championships with Merklein and David Blair claiming the 1993 doubles title, while Merklein won the singles championship in 1994 and Morrison earned the singles crown in 1999.
NCAA Individual Championships
Taube Tennis Center
May 25-30, 2011
*All times listed are Eastern*
Wednesday, May 25
1 p.m. – Singles first round
2:30 p.m. – Sekou Bangoura Jr. (UF) vs. Henrique Cunha (Duke)
5:30 p.m. – Alexandre Lacroix (UF) vs. Jaak Poldma (USC)
Thursday, May 26
1 p.m. – Singles second round; doubles first round
TBA – Bangoura/Lacroix (UF) vs. Andrews/Konigsfeldt (Cal)
Friday, May 27
1 p.m. – Singles and doubles round of 16
Saturday, May 28
3 p.m. – Singles and doubles quarterfinals
Sunday, May 29
3 p.m. – Singles and doubles semifinals
Monday, May 30
3 p.m. – Doubles final
5 p.m. – Singles final