Japie De Klerk Plays in the Davis Cup that Starts on Friday in Moscow
Oct. 23, 2013
TULSA, Okla. - University of Tulsa men's tennis player Japie De Klerk plays in the Davis Cup in Moscow, Russia starting on Friday.
The senior represents his country of South Africa and faces the Russia team on Friday at 6 a.m. central time, 3 p.m. local time at the indoor facility of the Olympic Stadium.
"It's a big moment in Japie's life," TU head coach Vince Westbrook said. "He has worked hard throughout his injuries and personal setbacks. This is a dream for every tennis player to play for his country for the Davis Cup."
De Klerk is coming off his best season in 2013, as he advanced to the semifinals of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, the first player in school history to advance to the semifinals of the individual NCAA Tournament.
The Ashton, South Africa native fell to Blaz Rola of Ohio State in the semifinals, who won the 2013 NCAA men's singles championship.
De Klerk earned All-American accolades in the singles competition last season for his efforts in the NCAA Tournament and posted 25-12 record, including 14 victories coming against ranked opponents, during the 2012-13 campaign.
"Outside of the 2013 NCAA semifinals, this is the biggest moment for him," Westbrook said. "Japie is very excited and we believe that this could be the push he needed to complete a successful collegiate career and realize his dream of being a professional player."
In 2012, De Klerk was a quarterfinalist at the USTA/ITA Central Region in Minneapolis, Minn., and was selected to play at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championship in Flushing, N.Y.
This season, De Klerk is ranked No. 12 in the ITA preseason poll, released on Sept. 6. His preseason ranking is the highest preseason ranking at Tulsa since the 2008 preseason ranking when Arnau Brugues was ranked No. 6.
The South Africa team consists of Dean O'Brien, Tucker Voster and Raven Klaasen and is competing in the Euro/Africa Zone 1 Playoff.
For the Tulsa men's tennis program, De Klerk is the second Hurricane to play for his country in the Davis Cup. Marcelo Arevalo played for El Salvador last year.
"This is a big deal for the program," Westbrook said. "We are starting to attract more young men who want to go college to improve their game and move to the next level. "
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