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April 3, 2002

Charlottesville, Va. – Former University of Virginia men’s tennis player Brian Vahaly, a 2001 graduate, defeated Michael Chang yesterday in a tournament in Los Angeles, Calififornia by a score of 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (6).

Vahaly was down a match point in the breaker, yet found a way to win. Chang, who has a very storied career since turning pro in 1988, is currently ranked No. 123 in the world. Vahaly is ranked at No. 178 right now, and will likely move up.

While it’s the biggest win for Vahaly to date, even bigger than a win over Chris Woodruff last fall, it’s just the latest in a trip around the world that has been exciting and challenging for the former Cavalier.

“I feel very fortunate to meet people from so many different cultures and see what else the world has to offer,” Vahaly said. “In addition, it has been great for me that Huntley Montgomery is traveling and playing as well. It’s nice to have someone out there who is still genuinely rooting for you, and we tend to form our own team when traveling.”

In other tournaments this year, Vahaly reached the quarterfinals in Gosford, Australia, defeating Daniel Andersson and Adam Kennedy before falling to Bjorn Rehnquist. He won The Challenger tournament in Hamilton, New Zealand, defeating Cedric Kaufmann of France, Andersson again, Rogier Wassen, Ladislav Svarc, before defeating Louis Vosloo for the tournament championship.

In addition to his success in singles competition, he has gotten to team with Montgomery as well. They reached the finals of The Challenger in Dallas, Texas, which bumped their doubles ranking to 120 in the ATP Champions Race.

Up next for Vahaly, including his current stay in Los Angeles, he will head off to Rome before challenging for the French Open and Wimbledon qualifying tournaments.

“It has been a heck of a first year for me,” Vahaly said. “I am definitely doing my best to keep Virginia proud.”


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