May 26, 2004
Senior tri-captain Luis Haddock (Caguas, P.R./Notre Dame H.S.) gained entrance into the NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Singles Championship on the eve of the commencement of play. The Puerto Rican, who was originally the fifth alternate to the 64-player event, got into the field Tuesday evening and will be in action Wednesday at 2 p.m. (CDT) against #39 Pedro Nieto of Virginia Commonwealth at the Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla.
Earlier this season, Haddock had a 6-4, 3-2 lead against Nieto in dual-match action at the Blue/Gray National Tennis Classic when the match was abandoned.
Live scoring for every match in the tournament will be available through the official athletics website of the host school, the University of Tulsa, at www.tulsahurricane.com. That link also will be available on the front page of Notre Dame’s official site, www.und.com.
The winner of that contest will face either the tournament’s fifth seed, #5 Phillip King of Duke, or 30th-ranked Ken Skupski of LSU. Haddock lost to Skupski in three sets in last fall’s Crowne Plaza Invitational and fell 6-1, 6-3 to King in a dual match in February.
All players winning two matches and, thus, reaching the round of 16 in the NCAA Singles Championship assure themselves of being named All-Americans.
Haddock, ranked 70th in the latest ITA national rankings, stands 20-12 on the season, including four victories over top-60 players, highlighted by wins against #13 Romain Ambert of Mississippi and #19 Mat Cloer of Florida State. He was 12-7 in dual matches, playing No. 1 in every contest but one. In his career, Haddock holds a 91-42 (.684) career record in singles, as well as a 70-41 (.631) doubles mark. He is just the fifth player under head coach Bob Bayliss to win at least 90 singles matches and 70 doubles contests during his career. His singles victories are the ninth-highest sum in the Bayliss era.
Haddock is the first Irish player to qualify for the NCAA singles tournament since Javier Taborga in 2002. No Notre Dame competitor has won a round in the event since Ryan Sachire (’00) defeated Jong-Min Lee of UC Santa Barbara 6-2, 6-4 in the opening round in 1998. This marks the 18th time an Irish student-athlete has gained entry to the NCAA Singles Championship since the current format was adopted in 1977. All but two of those invitations have come since 1990.
Haddock played 11 matches against NCAA singles qualifiers this season, going 3-7 with the contest against Nieto abandoned. In his career, he has played 22 times against this year’s field, compiling a 8-12-2 mark.
The NCAA singles tournament will proceed with one round per day until it culminates with the final on Sunday. In addition to live scoring, fans will have other ways of following the action. The final three days of play, Friday-Sunday, will feature live audio webcasts by www.radiotennis.com. Additionally, The Tennis Channel will provide tape-delayed television coverage of the finals of both the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships, slated to premiere on June 5 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. (EDT) (6 and 8 in South Bend) and re-air numerous times.