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Men’s Tennis: Cajuns Hosting Nation’s Best At John Breaux Cajun Tennis Classic

LAFAYETTE – The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns men’s tennis team will host seven of the top 35 teams in the country beginning Thursday when it opens play in the John Breaux Cajun Tennis Classic at the Culotta Tennis Center.

Admission to the four-day event is free. The championship match on Sunday, scheduled for 12 p.m., will be televised on Cox Sports Television and ESPN3. Action will begin daily at 9 a.m.

Now in its third year after a 30-year hiatus, the Cajun Tennis Classic attracts some of the top Division I men’s programs and players on the collegiate circuit. The event also is named in honor of former United States Senator John Breaux, a native of Crowley, La., and a four-year letterwinner and conference champion in tennis for then Southwestern Louisiana (USL) from 1961-64.

Joining Louisiana in the eight-team field will be Big 12 schools Texas Tech (No. 11), Oklahoma State (No. 13) and Texas (No. 16), SEC programs Kentucky (No. 23), Ole Miss (No. 27) and LSU (No. 35) along with PAC-12 power USC (No. 12).

Eight of the top 100 players in the Oracle ITA Division I Men’s National Singles Rankings are entered in the tournament, highlighted by Kentucky’s William Bushamuka, who is the top-seeded player in the field and ranked No. 15 overall.

Lafayette native and LSU standout Jordan Daigle is ranked No. 35 nationally and enters the field as the No. 2 seed followed by third-seeded Justin Butsch of LSU (No. 49 nationally), Harrison Scott of Texas (No. 71), Alex Sendegeya of Texas Tech (No. 83), USC’s Thibault Forget (No. 85), Oklahoma State’s Arjun Kadhe (No. 87) and John Mee of Texas (No. 91).

Freshman Jamie Fraser of Louisiana will face Bushamuka in the opening round at 9 a.m. on Thursday with Eric Perez facing the eighth-seeded Mee and Vlad Kramarov battling Forget, the No. 6 seed. Louisiana’s Arthur Libaud, the 2016 Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year, will face the No. 4-seeded Scott at 11 a.m., with Coleman Wahlborg facing the No. 5-seeded Sendegeya and freshman Pearse Dolan opening against Texas’ Colin Markes.

The first Cajun Classic in 1977 attracted a field that featured 20 future professional grand slam winners or finalists, five ATP top-20 singles players, 12 NCAA champions, four doubles players who reached the No. 1 world ranking and a pair of Olympic gold medal winners. In the years that followed, the Cajun Classic was able to attract even more of the top players in the world, including Kevin Curren, Robert Seguso and Ken Flach – all professional Grand Slam winners.

Thursday, September 22
9:00 a.m. – Round of 32 Championship Singles Play begins
12:30 p.m. – Round of 32 Championship Singles and Consolation Singles
2:30 p.m. – Round of 16 Championship Singles (Consolation Singles)
5:00 p.m. – Evening Session Round of 16 Championship Singles

Friday, September 23
9:00 a.m. – Consolation singles play
10:30 a.m. – Quarterfinals singles play
2:30 p.m. – Round of 16 Championship Doubles & Consolation Singles
5:00 p.m. – Evening Session Quarterfinals (Championship Doubles)
6:30 p.m. – “A Taste of Louisiana” Players and Sponsor Dinner (Moncla Indoor Facility)

Saturday, September 24
9:00 a.m. – Consolation singles play
10:00 a.m. – Clinic for Advanced Statewide Tournament Players
12:00 p.m. – Semifinals (Championship Singles)
2:30 p.m. – Semifinals (Championship Doubles)

Sunday, September 25
9:00 a.m. – Consolation singles
12:00 p.m. – Championship Singles Final (COX Sports Television) and Championship Doubles Final