Sonkin set ITA Championships

first_imgWisconsin tennis star Jeremy Sonkin will fire up his 2006 tennis season at Tulsa University this week. The junior will face the best college tennis players, including 36 out of the top 40 players in the nation, at the ITA Ralph Lauren All-American Tennis Championships. The tournament will include last year’s winner who is also this year’s No. 1 seed, John Isner, from the University of Georgia. Last year’s NCAA single’s finalist Somdev Devvarman, from the University of Virginia, will also be at the tournament. These two players are only a fraction of the star-studded list of players heading to Tulsa, but Sonkin remains confident and excited.”I want to win in the qualifying rounds, and then make my way through the first couple of rounds in the main draw,” Sonkin said. “I’m very confident in my game right now and I’ve been working very hard.” Sonkin’s goals for himself will fuel him throughout the tournament, and keep him focused on winning. Last year, his promising season was cut short by an elbow injury, right before competing for the Big Ten singles championship as the No. 1 seed. “I’ve worked hard these past couple of weeks and have been trying to start good habits, and get over last year’s injuries,” Sonkin related. “The whole team has been practicing very hard, I’m just trying to get better every day and start this year’s season off on a good note, I’m really excited to get going.”Although his season ended early last year, he will have a chance to show he has healed from his injuries this week in Tulsa by starting off his first competition of the 2006 fall tennis season with a bang.”I’m feeling good going into this tournament, I’m hitting the ball really well, and I’m definitely ready to go,” Sonkin said. “It’s very important to me to start off on the right foot, and I’ve been working hard to achieve that.” Despite the prestige of the tournament and all the talented players participating, Sonkin keeps a level head and stays confident. “I have some butterflies before every match just because I want to get out there and play. This tournament will be very exciting for me, and I’m excited to compete,” Sonkin said. “I want to win every match and keep a positive attitude, no matter who I play.” In the end, he is just trying to echo the advice men’s tennis coach Greg Van Emburgh gives the team every day on the tennis court. “He loves to encourage us and keep things positive,” Sonkin said of Van Emburgh. “If you have passion and fight on the court, anything can happen.”Sonkin will be the only Badger in the tournament, and opens play in a qualifying tournament, which contains a 128-player draw and is held from Monday Oct. 2 to Wednesday Oct. 4. If he should emerge from the qualifying round, Sonkin will go on to the 64-player main tournament draw, which will be held from Thursday Oct. 5 through Sunday Oct. 8.last_img

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