July 30, 2004
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
For many Florida State University students, the summer is the ideal time for them to improve their resumes for the future with internship and summer jobs. The same could be said for Seminole men’s tennis players Mat Cloer and Ytai Abougzir as they have spent much of their summer playing against some of the world’s best up-and-coming players on the FUTURES Tour.
One of the top professional men’s tennis tours on the globe, the FUTURES Tour is just a few steps below the ATP Tour and the likes of Grand Slam champions Roger Federer and Andy Roddick. Directly below the ATP Tour is the Challenger Series-which both Cloer and Abougzir excelled at during the tour’s stop in Tallahassee-followed by the FUTURES.
Because of their amateur status, Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) and Abougzir (Boca Raton, Fla.) can not receive any prize money for their participation in the tournaments, but when they advance in the draw they pick up valuable ATP rankings points. As of July 26, 2004, Cloer had picked one singles point this season in four tournaments to move his total up to 11 points and rank him 829 in the world.
One of the best returning college players for the 2004-05 season-he was ranked as high as No. 19 in the country and finished the year rated 30th-Cloer has actually had more success in doubles events this summer. His best showing came at the FUTURES stop in Peoria, Ill., where he teamed up with fellow American Goran Dragicevic to advance to the finals of the double draw where they were defeated by top seed Raphael Durek and Adam Feeney of Australia. Durek is ranked as high as 261 in the world in doubles. Cloer also won his loan singles match so far this summer in Peoria.
The following week in Joplin, Mo., Cloer-the two time ACC Player of the Year-joined forces with American Zach Dailey and the duo reached the quarterfinals of the doubles tournament. As a result, his doubles ranking has shot up 165 spots to 948 in just two tournaments as he has earned 20 points this year.
Double success has also found Abougzir this summer. Teaming up with North Carolina’s Nick Monroe, Abougzir has reached the semifinals of a pair of events. In Buffalo, N.Y. the duo fell in the semis to Dave Lingman and Phil Stolt and the following week in Pittsburgh, Pa., dropped a tough three-set match to top seeded Tres Davis and Ryan Sachire. Following the run in Pittsburgh his ranking moved up to 1216 with 10 ATP points.
Abougzir also picked up a singles victory in Peoria, taking down Troy Hahn.