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Tennis: Cajun Classic To Return In September

LAFAYETTE, La. – The defending Sun Belt Conference Ragin’ Cajuns men’s tennis team will be a part of one of the top fall events of the year in mid-September, when it’s home courts play host to the Cajun Tennis Classic on Sept. 18-21.
 
The event will bring together one of the finest men’s tennis fields in the country with all eight teams participating being nationally ranked, three of which claimed their conference title last season. Those teams include No. 8 Texas (2014 Big 12 champions), No. 9 Georgia (2014 SEC champions), No. 13 Kentucky, No. 25 Oklahoma State, No. 30 Wake Forest, No. 46 LSU, No. 49 TCU and No. 61 Louisiana (2014 Sun Belt champions).
 
All matches will be played at Cajun Courts with competition play set to begin on Sept. 18 and continuing through Sept. 21. Championship matches are scheduled to begin at noon on Sept. 21 with the singles finals. The participating teams will also take part in a youth clinic on Tuesday, Sept. 16, where 2nd-4th graders from Lafayette Parrish schools will take part with many being introduced to tennis for the very first time.
 
"I want to welcome everyone from around the state to come and watch this event and be a part of it," Jeffrey said. "And I could not be more excited for the future and having this event for years to come down the road."
 
The Cajun Classic was one of the top collegiate tournaments on the collegiate circuit, beginning with its inception in the late 1970s; however, this will be the first time the tournament has been played since 1984.
 
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.
 
The Ragin’ Cajuns are coming off a 20-5 season – its most wins since 1988 – and a berth in the NCAA Tournament after claiming the 2014 Sun Belt Conference crown. The success has not stopped there as the Cajuns have put together an impressive ATP season too, picking up a program-best 37 ATP points over the summer.
 
This season the Cajuns will be led by senior Damian Farinola and juniors Jake Wynan and Edgar Lopez. Farinola had an impressive summer, earning 20 ATP points in doubles play just months after receiving both all-Sun Belt and all-Louisiana honors last year.
 
Meanwhile, Wynan had a breakout year for the Cajuns, playing in in the top half of the lineup throughout the 2014 season. Also an all-Sun Belt and all-Louisiana selection, Wynan will be relied upon heavily in both singles and doubles play this season.
 
Primarily playing in both the No. 1 and No. 2 position last year, Lopez teamed up with Farinola in doubles play and will contend once again for a spot in the top of the lineup after a year that included pushing No. 1 Mississppi State’s Florian Lakat at the NCAA Regionals a year ago.
 
Louisiana will also welcome a group of newcomers that includes Ukrainian native Vlad Kramarov, someone head coach Mark Jeffrey believes will compete immediately for a position in the middle of the Cajun lineup. Sporting a 6-5 frame, Kramaraov has already defeated multiple top-100 ITF players and garnered his first ATP point after an impressive summer.
 
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