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Men’s tennis emerges as competitors in professional tournament

Junior+Jocelyn+Devilliers+strikes+the+ball+during+the+MVC+semi-finals+match+against+Illinois+State+last+March.
Junior Jocelyn Devilliers strikes the ball during the MVC semi-finals match against Illinois State last March.

Junior Jocelyn Devilliers strikes the ball during the MVC semi-finals match against Illinois State last March.

Courtesy of GoShockers Manny De

Courtesy of GoShockers Manny De

Junior Jocelyn Devilliers strikes the ball during the MVC semi-finals match against Illinois State last March.

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Over the weekend, Wichita State men’s tennis began play in Birmingham, Alabama, at the United States Tennis Association Futures Player’s Choice Open.

The USTA Futures circuit is the lowest ranking professional tournament that college and professionals can compete in to increase their ranking and possibly break through into larger professional competitions.

The Shockers took senior Jocelyn Devilliers, junior Miroslav Herzan and sophomore Haru Inoue to the tournament.

“These three guys are all in similar places,” head coach Danny Bryan said. “They’ve had some good results and they have also struggled at times.”

At the ITA All-American, Devillers strung together two wins before being eliminated by Michael Feucht (Lamar) in a close two-set affair 6-3, 7-6 (5). Inoue’s breakout performance was also at the All-American when he beat Fabian Fallert (Ole Miss) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 to make it to the pre-qualifying finals.

Inoue was the only Shocker to make it to the qualifying round and racked up four wins in the process.

Herzan’s fall season peak was last week at the ITA Central Regional where he had two wins before falling to No. 45 Jose Salazar (Arkansas) 7-5, 6-0.

“[Last week] they had tough draws so it would be nice to see those guys get some wins” Bryan said.

The Shockers have done nothing but win so far at the Player’s Choice, where all three athletes have made it to the third round.

After a first round bye, Inoue beat Jarryd Woog 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the third round where he outlasted Alex Brown 2-6, 7-6, 6-3 to advance to the final round of qualifying.

Devilliers overcame Aleks Huryn 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 and dispatched Ritchie Kruunenberg 7-5, 6-1 to get a spot in the third round. In the third round, he was downed by Alex Rotsaert 6-4, 6-3.

Herzan cruised through the first round 6-0, 6-1 over Norman Love. In the second round, Herzan pushed through 0-6, 7-6, 7-6 to make it to the third where he topped Andrew Watson 6-2, 7-5.

Inoue and Herzan will both be in the final round of qualifying where they are competing for one of the final spots in the main draw.

“We are doing better, we are moving better on the court, tennis-wise we are playing better as well,” Devilliers said.

With this being the second to last tournament of the fall, the Shockers are looking to end on the fall season on a positive note.

“I think it’s important that we finish strong, but I don’t think it’s the biggest deal in the world,” Bryan said. “I think it’s more that we’re just keep doing what we do, keep working on getting better, having a good attitude, competing, playing every point, being tough mentally and physically.”

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