Thomas Laurent stars in ITA All-American Championship
The men’s tennis program has a No. 1 court to fill. Former No. 1 player Dan Maasland graduated after last season, and the Ducks want a player to fill his spot come spring.
They may have already found him in sophomore Thomas Laurent, who defeated multiple ranked opponents during the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The sophomore from Montpellier, France, entered the tournament ranked No. 105 in the United States, according to the International Tennis Association.
He began the qualifying round with a dominating 6-1, 6-0 victory over Oklahoma State’s Tristan Meraut.
To start the second day, he faced No. 50-ranked Spencer Papa of Oklahoma — the team that eliminated the Ducks in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last spring. Laurent upset Papa with close 7-5, 6-4 matches.
On the same day, Laurent defeated Baylor’s Jimmy Bendeck 7-6, 6-4 to advance to the singles main draw.
“Thomas came up big when he needed to in both matches today,” head coach Nils Schyllander told GoDucks.com “He played the big points well and that is what big-time players do.”
While Laurent was winning, Oregon’s Jayson Amos was not as fortunate. Amos fell in his first match to No. 52 Andrew Watson of Memphis 6-1, 6-0. Amos moved to the consolation bracket after the loss, but he dropped that match to Georgia’s Emil Reinberg 7-5, 6-2.
After qualifying, Laurent continued his hot streak in the first round when he defeated No. 31 Piotr Lomacki of Miami 7-5, 6-0.
“Thomas started a little sluggish today and got down early,” Schyllander said to GoDucks.com “But as his intensity picked up he was able to finish in dominating fashion. Tomorrow brings another great opportunity.”
However, that would be his final victory in the tournament.
Laurent lost 6-4, 6-4 to No. 7 Skander Mansouri of Wake Forest. It ended Laurent’s trip in Tulsa, but he left with a 4-1 record, including two victories over ranked opponents.
Laurent’s next challenge comes in the ITA Regional starting Oct. 13 in Berkeley, California.
Follow Jack Butler on Twitter @Butler917
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