Nov. 21, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The men's tennis team received three letters of intent during the November signing period from Becker O'Shaughnessey, Filippos Tsangaridis and David Vieyra, head coach Billy Pate announced on Monday. Tsangaridis and Vieyra will join the Crimson Tide in January and O'Shaughnessey in August.
"We are excited to welcome three outstanding young men and outstanding athletes to the Crimson Tide Family," said Pate. "We feel these three guys really fit the type of player we want in our program. Not only are they excellent players with their best tennis ahead of them, but they also are just as good as people as well. Each one of them has good size, athleticism and explosiveness, so we expect them to develop at a fast rate while making a difference in singles and doubles."
O'Shaughnessey, a 6-2, five-start recruit from Macon, Ga., currently ranks 39th overall in the nation and 12th in the Southeast, according to TennisRecruiting.net. He is a three-time Georgia Independent School Association individual and team champion, going down as the only player in Stratford Academy history to accomplish that feat. O'Shaughnessey, a three-time Telegraph Middle Georgia High School Player of the Year, has had a stellar junior career, but among his biggest accomplishments was winning the National Open Doubles finals in the Boys 16 group as well as finishing as a finalist in singles that same year. Recently, he had the opportunity to play seven-time Grand Slam Champion Mats Wilander in an exhibition match, where O'Shaughnessey was edged in a third set tiebreaker.
"Becker is a very strong and gifted athlete with outstanding upside for the type of physical competition that is demanded in the SEC," Pate explained. "He's enjoyed a great junior career, but we feel like he hasn't even scratched the surface in terms of the player he will be in college. He fit right in with the team on his visits to campus, and I feel confident he'll make an impact early in his career."
Tsangaridis, who grew up in Cyprus, later moved to Barcelona, Spain, to train under Spanish Davis Cup Captain and former top 10 ATP player Albert Costa. The 6-foot-4 Tsangaridis was a three-time member of the Cyprus Davis Cup team and winner of the Cyprus National Tournament U18. In 2010, he had one of the biggest wins of his career, topping ITF Wimbledon Champion and No. 1 ranked Marton Fucsovics, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2, at the ITS European Championships in Switzerland. Tsangaridis won his first international title in Israel in 2006 and was a two-time Young Tennis Player of the Year.
"Filippos has a great deal of international tennis experience while being a consistent winner in his junior career," Pate added. "He is a very intelligent young man with a complete understanding of the game. He does exceptionally well in academics, and has an opportunity to really help us reach our goals this spring. He possesses a powerful serve but can also back it up with multiple offensive weapons and variety in his arsenal."
Vieyra, who hails from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, was a two-time National finalist in singles and a three-time National Champion in doubles. In 2009, he represented Canada on the U16 Junior Davis Cup Team and has reached a high as No. 360 in the International Tennis Federation rankings. Vieyra also won three ITF doubles titles in one year with three different partners.
"David is another physical, athletic talent, who has great offensive abilities," Pate said. "Growing up in Canada, he's primarily trained on fast, aggressive indoor tennis courts but is just as comfortable on slower outdoor surfaces. He's a very poised, diligent guy whose game will absolutely flourish in college. Like Filippos, he will start in January and might have a good chance to make a significant impact this spring."
Alabama will begin the spring portion of its schedule at the UCF Invitational on January 6, in Orlando, Fla.
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