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Soufiane Azargui: Culmination of the Fall

Written by: Soufiane Azargui

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***Soufiane Arzagui came to Toronto from Morocco at the age of 10 and a half. Over the next 7 years, Soufiane developed as an excellent tennis player winning singles and doubles titles at the national and ITF level as well as maintaining a high academic level at Bateman High School in Burlington. After six years at the ACE tennis Academy he fulfilled his objective of receiving a scholarship to an Ivy League school, Brown University in September of 2010.  Soufiane is blogging us on a regular basis about his school life.***

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Sophomore year began for me with a realization that our two great senior captains are gone, and having four new faces added to the team this year to help us during season. I also have figured out my major which has to be declared by the end of this year. I think I’m going to try and major in economics.

Brown Invitational Tournament:

Tennis started off pretty quickly with our first tournament a week and a half after we started training. I played in and won the top flight of the Brown invitational tournament, playing two of my teammates in the tournament. In doubles, Brandon and I tried to switch sides to test it out in the top flight of the doubles draw. Brandon caught an unlucky break and got a shoulder injury that forced him to pull out of the singles final. We ended up losing to teammates of ours in the finals of the tournament.

Flushing Meadows:

Then came the Flushing Meadows tournament, with tons of flights in both singles and doubles to accommodate all the schools of the region. It is played at the US Open site and I drew the second seed of the tournament in the A draw. He apparently was the top player in the region and the number 1 for Yale. I played really well and won that match. Then beat the 1 guy from the Army school before losing to the number 2 from St Johns in the semi finals. Brandon and I dominated the B doubles draw, with our toughest doubles contest being 8-4.

There were two tournaments left for me to play: A Dual match invite at our house as well as the Regionals tournament.

We hosted Georgetown, Stony Brook University, and Boston College and had a dual match against each one. We beat Georgetown soundly as a team; I had a helping hand winning at #3 doubles and #1 singles. I also helped beat Stony Brook University beating their number one singles player but sat out doubles play. Against Boston College, I only played doubles losing at #1 doubles 8-6.

Last tournament was the Big Regional tournament; I got a generous seeding at #8. The most coincidental match I played first round when I drew a fellow Moroccan that I played with when I was 10-12 years old and now plays for Drexel College. After advancing past that opponent, I again faced the #1 from Army. I won that match to advance to the round of 16. There, I faced the number from Cornell where we had a tough three set three hour battle that I eventually lost. Brandon also reached the round of 16, losing to the number 1 from Yale in three tight sets and together, we lost to the number 1 team from Army, a team we were clearly favored to beat.

A New Reality By Nicolas Pereira

This past week in the World Team Tennis ‘Bubble” I have seen the efforts to keep everyone safe while carrying on a team competition with around 60/70 players and coaches onsite. Counting organizers, officials, media, and support personnel are around 150 people trying hard to make this happen. I am very impressed by how the strict protocol has been handled and how everyone is invested in making this event a success, but The Open is a completely different scale of details.

ONcourt Interviews NGTL Co-Founder Yves Boulais

It does not matter that you get your rating playing locally or that you had spent an insidious amount of money playing the ITF junior tour tournaments. Your rating is your level of play (you get no bonus for playing more or playing far away). This allows us to break free of the ITF competitive structure potentially saving us time, money, and headache. We see this as a great opportunity to improve the logistic of our sport.

Brandon Burke (son of ACE President Doug Burke) Elected to WTA Board

As revealed in a recent news release issued by the WTA Tour – Brandon Burke has been elected to the WTA Board of Directors (to start officially in September). Oncourt got together with Brandon to delve a bit more into his background and to gain some insight into this wonderful appointment he has attained at such a young age.