Toledo bows out of ITAs after third round

Senior Leandro Toledo now has 16 wins against ranked opponents.

Sam Kraemer

For Leandro Toledo, the Saint Francis Health System Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American Championships were a chance to prove himself to be better than the No. 22 ranking he earned before play began.

He did just that.

The senior upset No. 13 Mackenzie McDonald of UCLA 6-4, 3-6. 6-3 and finished 2-1 in the tournament.

However, Toledo dropped his round of 16 match on Saturday against No. 20 Romain Bogaerts from Wake Forest 6-0, 6-2.

The loss effectively eliminated him from the tournament, but that isn’t to say Toledo didn’t learn a thing or two from playing against the best competition in the nation.

“I think it’s a big accomplishment winning two matches, especially in the first match beating one of the top guys in the country,” Toledo said.

He said this preseason action can put his team on the right track moving forward.

Toledo said it’s a good start to the season, especially considering the competition includes some of the best players in the country.

Toledo, a 2014 First Team All-Big Ten selection, said he learned to focus on his game and be more aggressive in Tulsa, Okla.

Associate head coach Urban Ljubic traveled with the Gophers competing in the ITAs — Toledo, Jack Hamburg and Mathieu Froment.

He said he was happy with Toledo’s performance on the national stage.

“The win versus McDonald was a really good match for him,” Ljubic said. “It’s the first time in a while for a Minnesota player to make it to the round of 16 at an All-American tournament.”

Ljubic said Toledo has been an instrumental leader for the Gophers.

“He’s been working extremely hard all fall. The guys look up to him,” he said.

Hamburg and Froment both competed in the singles qualifying draw, and they competed together in the doubles main draw.

The pair won their first match against Jordan Angus and Filip Vittek of the University of San Diego 3-6, 7-6, 1-0 before falling to the top-seeded doubles pair of Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese from the University of Tennessee 6-0, 6-2.

“They won one of the craziest matches I’ve ever seen,” Ljubic said.

The ITA All-American Championships feature the top collegiate players from across the nation and give players a chance to assess their skills before heading into conference play.

While only a few Gophers competed at the event, Ljubic said the experience they gained will benefit the team moving forward.