Brichacova heads to ITAs

Tereza Brichacova will compete in the prequalifying singles draw.

Sam Kraemer

Tereza Brichacova wasn’t an All-America recruit when she enrolled at the University of Minnesota.

Now, as a senior, Brichacova was selected to play in the Riviera/Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American Championships in California, which features many of the nation’s top tennis players.

“For her to go and get the competition that she’s going to get … it’s just going to raise the level of her game, which raises the level of the team, too,” said head coach Chuck Merzbacher.

Brichacova will compete in the prequalifying singles draw, which will give her the opportunity to advance to the qualifying singles draw and the main singles draw from there.

Brichacova is the only player on the Gophers roster that will play in the tournament, but she said she’s aware of her duty on the national stage.

“Even if I’m the only [Gopher] there, I’m still representing Minnesota and the whole team,” she said.

Merzbacher said his team could learn from Brichacova’s improvement throughout her collegiate career.

“She was like a No. 4 player when she got here,” Merzbacher said. “Now, she’s one of the top players in the country. It just shows everyone on the team that you can move up and get better.”

Freshman Caroline Ryba said before coming to the University, she knew of Brichacova’s success in college tennis.

“It’s great to have her on our team,” Ryba said. “She’s definitely an inspiration to me because I do want to do well, not only in the Big Ten but beyond.”

Brichacova said she plans to share her experience with the team upon returning to campus. Her main goal is to first advance into the qualifying draw.

“The longer she can stay, the better. Every match you play, it’s tough. Every match you win, you get better,” Merzbacher said.

Men travel to Penn Invitational, ITAs

The men’s tennis team is set to begin its season Friday at the Penn Invitational.

The team will be without Leandro Toledo, Jack Hamburg and Mathieu Froment this weekend. The three seniors will be in Texas for the Saint Francis Health System ITA All-American Championships.

Hamburg and Froment will compete together in the main doubles draw and will compete individually in the qualifying singles draw.

Toledo was the only team member to qualify for the main singles draw.