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Thursday, April 18
The Indiana Daily Student

sports tennis

Indiana men’s tennis’ Sam Landau makes deep run at ITA All-American Championships

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Indiana men’s tennis concluded its six-day trip from Sept. 30-Oct. 5 to Tulsa, Oklahoma at the annual ITA All-American Championships. Junior Jagger Saylor, accompanied by sophomores Sam Landau and Ekansh Kumar, faced off against 256 of the best college tennis players in the country.  

The Hoosiers began in the pre-qualifying rounds while higher ranked players received byes to either the qualifying round or main draw. In the first round, Saylor fell to University of California, Irvine’s Enrique Luque (3-6 4-6), while Kumar lost to Liberty University’s Rafael Marques Da Silva. Landau, who finished last season 14-4, came from behind to defeat Wichita State University’s Kristof Minarik (3-6 6-1 6-1).  

In the next round, it was an all Big Ten showdown, with Landau taking on Illinois’ William Mroz. Landau didn’t have to come back that time, cruising past Mroz in straight sets (6-3 6-1).  

In the third round, Landau once again had to battle through adversity, winning the first set against the University of North Carolina’s Peter Murphy, but then being shut out in the second. In the third, he turned it around and controlled the deciding set to move on to the fourth round of pre-qualifying (6-2 0-6 6-2).  

In the fourth, Landau took on Luis Carlos Alvarez Valdez from the University of Oklahoma with a chance to move into the qualifying rounds. Landau took the first set before Alvarez Valdez, who plays internationally in Mexico, took the second. The third was a back-and-forth affair with both players holding serve until Landau finally broke to move onto the qualifying section of the tournament (6-3 4-6 7-5).  

In the first qualifying round, Landau’s run continued as he once again went to three sets against the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Thoman Pinho and came out on top (7-5 3-6 6-3). After that, Landau got into a groove, defeating the University of Mississippi’s John Hallquist Lithen (6-3 6-0) followed by another straight set victory over the University of Florida’s Tanapatt Nirundorn (6-3 6-1). Those victories put Landau into the main draw of the tournament, the only player to start from the prequalifying rounds to make it.  

In round one of the main draw, Landau took on Carl Emil Overbeck from the University of California, Berkley. Landau dropped a one-sided first set but came back to take the match in three sets (2-6 6-4 6-2). Landau’s dream run ended the following round with a competitive straight set defeat to Ohio State’s Jack Anthrop (5-7 2-6). 

Landau was the sole player of the 256 pre-qualifiers to make it past the qualifying rounds and into the main draw. It was an improbable performance from the sophomore from Los Angeles and one that the school will not soon forget.  

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