Strong Summer Starts For Trojans

June 21, 2010

Members of the USC men's tennis team are riding the momentum of their 2010 NCAA Team Championship to courts around the world this summer, and serving up some solid success along the way. Recent grad and back-to-back Pac-10 Player of the Year Robert Farah has made the move to the pro level in style, as he picked up both the singles and the doubles titles at a pro tournament in Venezuela. Meanwhile, Peter Lucassen has been putting in time competing in European tournaments closer to his home in the Netherlands, and incoming freshman Ray Sarmiento has also been jetsetting through tournament play overseas.

Farah's first pro tournament since finishing up his Trojan career in May, took the Colombian native to Venezuela for a Futures tournament. In Maracaibo, He rolled through seven straight singles matches, including a pair of qualifying matches to leap into the main draw, and topped off his pro singles run by beating the #380-ranked No. 3 seed Ivan Miranda of Peru 6-3, 7-6 (3) in the singles final. In doubles, Farah paired with Juan Sebastian Cabal for a run to face top-seeded Gallardo/Quintero (MEX/COL) and tack up a 6-1, 7-5 win to grab the doubles title as well. That adds 17 ATP ranking points to Farah's pro count to lift his rankings in both singles and doubles.

A week later, Farah and Cabal added another doubles championship to the list in Coro, Venezuela. Farah had also competed in singles play in that pro tournament, and teamed up again with Cabal to beat another top-seeded pair in the doubles final. Farah and Cabal topped Mexico's Reyes Varela/Diaz Barriga 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6) for back-to-back pro doubles titles for Farah.

Playing as an amateur, Lucassen also is competing in Futures events. So far, the USC junior has seen action in Kozsalin, Poland, and in Apeldoorn and Alkmaar, Holland. There's more international action set for Lucassen as well in upcoming tournaments in the Netherlands. For Sarmiento, who has signed a letter of intent to join the Trojans next season, summer competition has carried him through tournaments in Belgium and France. Sarmiento competed at the Belgian International Junior Championships and reached the quarterfinals of the Junior French Open. He's currently in England for action at the Grade 1 Augon Junior International, and will also compete at the Junior Wimbledon.

Fellow Trojans Daniel Nguyen and Steve Johnson are also in action this summer as members of the USTA Summer Collegiate Team

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