Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+

Complete Tournament Draw with match times
dot.gifspacer.gifDownload Free Acrobat Reader

Oct. 5, 2005

Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina men’s tennis player Tom Eklund travels to Tulsa, Okla., to begin his senior season at the Polo-Ralph Lauren ITA All-American Tennis Championships, Oct. 6-9. Eklund, ranked 15th in the country by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, was awarded the 12th seed in the tournament and will face 28th-ranked Shannon Buck of Air Force in Tuesday’s opening round at 11:30 a.m.(ET) All matches are being contested at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Tulsa.

“It is an honor to be selected. The All-American Tournament is a very elite field. Tom has worked hard, coming from the bottom of the lineup when he first came here, to become our team captain and number one player. It is always encouraging to see a player develop like that, he really deserves to be there,” said USC Head Coach Kent DeMars.

Eklund’s quarter of the main draw will be a tough road, as 10 of the 16 slots are occupied by players currently ranked in the top 41 of the ITA poll, including four of the nation’s top 15. Should Eklund defeat Buck in the first round, he would then face the winner of No. 89 Eric Langenkamp of Notre Dame and No. 31 Rohan Gajjar of Arkansas. Friday’s third round would pit the winner of that bracket (57-60), against the victor of the lower 61-64 bracket, which includes the country’s number two player and second-seeded Ludovic Walter of Duke.

Eklund, a native of Hollviken, Sweden, is the first Gamecock player to earn his way to the tournament since All-American Seth Rose in the fall of 2003. USC’s best showing in the tournament came in the 1989 edition, when Stephane Simian advanced to the semifinals.

Eklund earned the honor by way of his performance in the 2005 season, where he not only led the team at No. 1 singles and paired with freshman Jaime Cuellar at No. 2 doubles. Carolina’s number one player, who picked up 41 overall wins in 2005, also became the first Gamecock named SEC Player of the Week twice, garnering the honor the weeks of March 7 and April 4. At the SEC Tournament Banquet, Eklund was named first-team All-SEC, the fourth Carolina player to be named to that squad. Eklund was also invited to the 2005 NCAA Singles Championships in College Station, Texas, where he put up a strong showing in a loss to eventual quarterfinalist Benjamin Kohloeffel of UCLA.

The Polo Ralph Lauren All-American Tennis Championships offer the first national singles and doubles titles of the 2005-06 collegiate tennis season, and are followed by the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in November. The third event is the season-ending NCAA Championships in May. (The women’s counterpart to the Polo Ralph Lauren All-American Tennis Championships, the Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships, will be played this weekend as well, in Pacific Palisades, Calif.).

Eklund’s progress can be followed at For further information fans can visit and click on the link to the men’s page of the All-American Championships.

The Gamecocks return to action as a team when they host the USC Fall Invitational Oct. 14-16 in Columbia.