Men’s Tennis Reloads with Talented Duo
TEMPE - Sun Devil men's tennis gained some exceptional young talent during the fall 2020 signing period with the signings of Nicola Cigna (Italy) and Murphy Cassone (Kansas). Both players are highly talented and are expected to help carry ASU men's tennis to the next level when they begin their academic and athletic careers next fall.
"Both these guys are great people who have exceptional character and are high-quality in the classroom and on the court," head coach Matt Hill said. "We see both of them being major impact players for us, not only within the program, but also with our goal to be an elite collegiate tennis program."
A highly skilled player, Cassone ranks No. 17 amongst US juniors and No. 131 amongst international juniors. He's picked up more than 50 wins over the last three years, and he carries a 12.0 rating according to the Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) system.
"I'm very pumped to compete in the college tennis atmosphere with everyone on the team and to make a push for something special," Cassone said.
"We couldn't be more excited about Murphy joining the program. We're continuing this trend of signing very talented American players and that's a very exciting thing for us." Hill said. "He's one of the best tennis players in the US for his age group and has been for a long time. We're super excited about what he brings to the table as a player, a person, and as a leader in the group. We see a massive upside in his game and we believe he's just scratching the surface of what he'll be able to do. I'd like to say thank you to Eric Rand, David Fox and Taylor Braziel for trusting us with Murphy's development, along with his parents as well."
Cigna is one of Italy's top talents. He's collected over 35 victories in his junior career, tallied points on the ITF men's tour, and peaked at No. 915 in the ITF junior rankings. In 2019 he also won the Racchetta d'Oro tournament in his home region.
"I'm thrilled about this upcoming experience of my life," Cigna said. "I feel extremely ambitious and lucky about the opportunity of joining the program. I can't wait for the journey to begin."
"We're extremely excited about Nicola," Hill said. "A lot of times when you get a player from overseas the relationship with the coach is still very young but we know Massimo Puci, his coach, very well and hold him in high regard in bringing up some of the best players in Italy. We know that there's no ceiling to what these two guys can do in the men's game. Their rankings and what they've done in the past isn't reflective of where they are now. Nicola's a great kid, great student, and has super high character."