de Klerk wins B draw singles championship at Grizzly Open

de Klerk wins B draw singles championship at Grizzly Open

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. --- Toby de Klerk won the Flight B men's singles championship while Tashique Kader and Gaston Aguilera won consolation bracket titles as the Tusculum men's tennis team competed at the Grizzly Open, hosted by Georgia Gwinnett College.

de Klerk won all five of his singles matches in straight sets to earn the Flight B championship, while Kader and Aguilera each fought back from opening-round losses to earn the consolation bracket victories.

de Klerk, who was seeded third in the B draw, began play Friday with a 6-1, 6-0 win over unattached player Tyler Terrell. de Klerk then defeated Michael Rapsik of Belmont Abbey 6-1, 6-2 in the Round of 16 to move into Saturday's quarterfinals.

de Klerk advanced to the semifinals with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Joseph Olatunji of Southern Wesleyan, then downed teammate Gabriel Bernardi 6-2, 6-1 to earn a berth in Sunday's finals. In the finals, de Klerk squared off with top-seeded David Omsky of Emory and came away with the trophy via a 6-4, 6-4 victory.

In the A draw, Kader lost in a tiebreaker to Satoshi Yamada of Bluefield in the first round 3-6, 6-4, (10-5), but came back through the field with four wins. Kader downed Juan Carlos Romero of Emmanuel 8-2 in the first round of consolations, then beat Rodrigo Huarachi of Bluefield 8-4 in the quarterfinals. Kader moved into the consolation finals by default over James Spaulding of Emory, then downed Pioneer teammate Gabriel Yaguar 6-2, 6-0 in the final match.

Aguilera was knocked out of the B draw championship flight in the second round with a 6-2, 6-4 loss to Olatunji, but came back to claim the consolation title with wins over Hillary Ncube of Point in the quarterfinals (8-4), Tomas Pardo of Belmont Abbey in the semifinals (6-4, 6-2) and Fedor Kulakov of Bluefield in the finals (6-4, 4-6, 10-7 tiebreaker).

Yaguar lost his opening-round match in the A draw to Urs Widow of Southern Wesleyan 4-6, 6-3, (10-8) but rallied to the consolation finals with victories over Noah Johansen of Emmanuel (8-5), Henrique Leal of Belmont Abbey (8-6) and a tiebreaker win in the semifinal round over Lucas Sasaki of Emmanuel by scores of 6-4, 6-7 (7-4), (10-6).

In the flight B championship bracket, the Pioneers had five victories in the first round of singles. In addition to de Klerk and Aguilera, Fabian Paier beat Brandon Wilson of Emmanuel 6-0, 6-3, Bernardi won 6-0, 6-1 over Joshua Davis of Emmanuel, and Steven Knowles won 6-0, 6-1 over Michael Wright of Emmanuel. Paier claimed a second-round win over Tamaka Rushwaya of Bluefield 6-2, 6-0, and Bernardi beat Samuel Blackburn of Point 4-6, 6-3, (10-8). Bernardi moved into the semifinals with a 6-4, 0-6, (10-7) win over Gabriel Poling of Bluefield before falling to de Klerk in an all-Tusculum semifinal.

In doubles, the team of Kader and Yaguar defeated Ryan James and Hunter Owen of Belmont Abbey 8-5 in the first round, then beat Jorge Canadas and Lucas Pereira of Emmanuel 8-4 in the round of 16. Kader and Yaguar downed George Congdon and Alec Rabinowitz of Emory 9-7 in the quarterfinals before being eliminated by Sergio Vallinotti and Ayed Zatar of Georgia Gwinnett in the semifinals by a score of 9-7.

Also in doubles, Yago Fernandez and de Klerk picked up wins over Michael Gutu and Satoshi Yamada of Bluefield 8-2, then beat Lorenzo Lopes de Oliveira and Carlos Nolasco of Belmont Abbey 8-5 in the round of 16 before being knocked out in the quarterfinals by Scott Rubenstein and James Spaulding of Emory by a 9-7 score.