Kentucky men’s tennis sophomore Ryotaro Matsumura won the Oracle ITA Masters on Sunday after taking down No. 55 Shawn Hadavi from Columbia, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. The Oracle ITA Masters is one of the most prestigious fall tournaments, with just one collegiate player from each NCAA Division I conference. Each conference was invited to send one men’s and one women’s player, and NCAA Tournament style selection was used.
“Ryo did a great job this week,” head coach Cedric Kauffmann said. “I thought Ryo was mentally tough. To bounce back and win the second-best fall tournament is huge. Every matchup was different and he handled the different opponents very well. Overall, it’s a great win for Ryo.”
Matsumura took down four ITA nationally ranked opponents (No. 38, No. 55, No. 110 and No. 111) on the way to the Oracle ITA Masters title. He dropped just one set during the weekend, the first of the championship match.
“I’m very happy coming off the performance I had last week,” Matsumura said. “To be able to come back strong for me as a player is good. Tactically I listened to my coach and followed our gameplan for each opponent.”
Matsumura breezed through the first round on Thursday after defeating Jacob Whalley of Fairleigh Dickinson, 6-1, 6-0. On Friday, he picked up two wins to advance to the semifinals. Matsumura defeated No. 111 Jeffery Schorsch of Valparaiso, 6-4, 6-1 in the second round. The Fukui, Japan native then took down No. 38 Gage Brymer of UCLA, 6-1, 6-2 to move on to the Saturday semifinals. In the semifinals, Matsumura defeated No. 110 Adam Moundir of Old Dominion in a hard fought 7-5, 7-6 (5) match to advance to the Sunday’s championship.
Kentucky men’s tennis will be back in action on Thursday, Oct. 20 to compete in the ITA Regional on Thursday, Oct. 20 in Knoxville, Tennessee.
By Mike Scholze