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Nov. 2, 2016

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Four current Virginia men’s tennis players will be competing in the singles main draw of the $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit Challenger event taking place this week (Oct. 31- Nov. 6) at The Boar’s Head Sports Club. Three current Virginia players will also compete in the doubles main draw.

Freshman Carl Soderlund (Stockholm, Sweden), with a current ATP ranking of 418, advanced to the second round with a 7-6 (1), 4-6, 6-2 victory over Sam Groth on Monday evening. Groth is currently ranked No. 185. Söderlund fell 6-4, 6-1 to fourth-seeded Denis Kudla, who is currently ranked No. 131, on Wednesday evening in the second round.

Söderlund and junior Alexander Ritschard (Zurich, Switzerland) were awarded wild cards into the main singles draw of the tournament. Seniors J.C. Aragone (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Charlotte, N.C.) advanced through qualifying to earn spots in the main draw.

On Monday, Ritschard faced the tournament’s No. 2 seed, Jared Donaldson, falling 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

Ritschard also played in the doubles main draw, partnering with junior Henrik Wiersholm (Kirkland, Wash.). The two fell 6-4, 6-3 to David O’Hare and Joe Salisbury in the first round.

Frances Tiafoe, the top seed in the singles draw, will be partnering with senior Luca Corinteli (Alexandria, Va.) in doubles. The duo fell 6-1, 7-5 to Sekou Bangoura and Mackenzie McDonald in the first round.

Aragone faced No. 301 Liam Broady on Tuesday morning, battling through three sets but coming up short, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. Kwiatkowski , facing the No. 5 seed, Tim Smyczek, also had a three set battle, but Smyczek pulled out a 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 victory.

Former Cavalier Ryan Shane was also awarded a wild card into the main draw, falling 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 to top-seeded Frances Tiafoe on Tuesday.

The Charlottesville Men’s Pro Challenger was first held in 2009 and is the first of three consecutive indoor hard court USTA Pro Circuit events held as part of the Australian Open Wild Card Challenge. The tournament is organized by The Boar’s Head Sports Club, with proceeds benefiting Special Olympics Virginia.

With approximately 90 tournaments hosted annually throughout the country, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. The USTA launched its Pro Circuit 37 years ago to provide players with the opportunity to gain professional ranking points, and it has since grown to become the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed in cities nationwide. John Isner, Maria Sharapova, Sam Querrey, Sloane Stephens, Kei Nishikori, Victoria Azarenka and Andy Murray are among today’s top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit.

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