April 3, 2005 - by
Four Seminoles Earn Wild Card Berths In USTA Men’s Tennis Tallahassee Challenger

April 3, 2005

Even though the 26th-ranked Florida State University men’s tennis team has six days in between its 7-0 romp over No. 19 Clemson and its next bout Friday (April 8) at No. 41 Virginia Tech, four Seminoles will be in action this week. Both of Florida State’s ranked doubles teams, as well as number one singles player Mat Cloer have received wild card entries into the USTA Tallahassee Challenger event this week.

Joining Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) in doubles action will be his playing partner Ytai Abougzir (Boca Raton, Fla.). The tandem is coming off a 9-7 upset of 28th-ranked Nathan Thompson and Ryan Young of Clemson. The Seminoles second entry in the doubles draw is the junior duo of Jeff Groslimond (Atlanta, Ga.) and Chris Westerhof (Durban, South Africa).

“This is a great opportunity for our guys,” FSU head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “We’ve made an emphasis on doubles this year and this gives our guys some more matches against a high level of competition. Both teams have had a good year so far with outstanding records and this will give them a chance to try to elevate their games even more.”

Anything collegiately should be a snap for Cloer the rest of the year considering his first round singles opponent. He will face the tournament’s number one seed Jonas Bjorkman, ranked No. 90 in the world, on Tuesday evening. One of Cloer’s doubles opponents in the opening round will be a familiar face when he and Abougzir take the court at approximately 7:30 on Monday. The duo faces Jan-Michael Gambill and John Paul Fruttero – who was Cloer’s partner in last year’s draw. Groslimond and Westerhof see their first action Monday afternoon around 2 p.m. when they take on the number four seed Gilles Elseneer and Wesley Moodie, the No. 375 duo in the world.

Last year Cloer made headlines on the second day of the Challenger last year as he took down No. 2 seed and world No. 163 Eric Taino 6-3, 6-0. He joined up with Fruttero to beat Andres Pedroso and Todd Widom in doubles. Cloer took the fall semester off to play on the FUTURES tour where he earned 45 ATP doubles points and moved up 369 spots to his highest ranking of No. 744.

This will be Abougzir’s second appearance at the Challenger on the heels of last year’s success in doubles. After making it through the qualifier with Travis Rettenmaier, they dropped their first round match 7-5, 7-6 to Brandon Coupe and Kevin Kim. Formerly ranked number two in the world in junior play, he dropped his only singles bout, 6-1, 6-2 to Jacob Adaktusson. Groslimond and Westerhof dropped their only match in 2004, losing 6-1, 6-2 to Brian Baker and Rajeev Ram.

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