Stanford Places Four On ITA Preseason Rankings

Sept. 5, 2008

STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford men's tennis placed four individuals on the preseason national singles and doubles polls released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) on Sept. 4. Three earned spots on the singles roster while two broke into the doubles table.

Returning standout Alex Clayton, a rising sophomore, earned the highest ranking for the Cardinal, checking in at fourth, four places higher than his final rank of eight at the end of the 2008 season. Clayton, the 2008 ITA National Rookie of the Year finished the season with the highest ranking of any Pac-10 singles player, and compiled a 30-9 record on the year. He went 19-8 against nationally-ranked opponents and 17-6 in dual matches. After earning the eighth seed at the 2008 NCAA Singles Championships, he advanced to the semifinals where he fell to the eventual champion, top-ranked Somdev Devvarman of the University of Virginia.

Rising senior Matt Bruch and junior Richard Wire earned ranks of No. 51 and No. 66, respectively. Bruch moved up 36 slots from his final 2008 ranking of No. 87, while Wire made a huge jump from being last year's No. 117. Bruch, who struggled with injuries, finished last year with a 10-10 record playing mostly in the No. 2 spot. Wire went 24-10, spending time at the No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4 singles positions.

Bruch also earned a doubles ranking, joining with classmate Blake Muller to form the No. 27 duo. Bruch and Muller were unable to crack the top 50 in spring of the 2008 season, but finished the spring 2007 season at No. 15. The pair won five of nine matches in the 2007-08 season in the top doubles spot and combined to take down two higher ranked opponents in the spring, finishing with a 8-4 defeat of Pepperdine's No. 24 Andre Begemann and Omar Altmann in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Stanford will return to the court of the 2008-09 season Oct. 6, when it will travel to Tulsa, Okla. for the six-day D'Novo/ITA All-American Championship.

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