Former Monarchs Advance To Main Draw Of Wimbledon

June 19, 2008
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

June 19, 2008

Norfolk, Va. - When the world's best tennis players take to the courts at the All England Lawn Tennis Club for the 2008 Wimbledon Championships, the Monarchs of Old Dominion University will be represented in both the men's and women's competition. Former Monarch Izak van der Merwe has qualified for the main draw, as has former Lady Monarch Tzipora Obziler.

During his time at Old Dominion Izak van der Merwe was ranked as high as No. 3 in the country in men's singles. He advanced to the final four of all three national collegiate championships (All-American Tournament, NCAA National Championships, National Indoors Championships) and was a two-time NCAA singles and one-time NCAA doubles all-american. His 177 total career wins rank second all-time in the Monarchs record books, while his 92 singles victories rank fourth. In the qualifiers, van der Merwe defeated Miguel Angel Lopez Jaen (Spain), 6-3,6-1; Kristian Pless (Denmark), 7-5,7-6 (10-8) and Frederic Niemeyer (Canada) 6-3,6-3,1-6,6-3.

Van der Merwe, ranked 282 in the world will open up his first Wimbledon Tournament on Tuesday against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain.

The 35-year old Obziler is currently the 120th ranked player in the world and enters Wimbledon looking to advance past the first round where she fell a year ago. Ranked the No. 1 collegiate women's tennis player in the country in the fall of 1995, Obziler will be playing in her third Grand Slam event this year after also making appearances at the Australian Open and the French Open.

Obziler captured the ITA Indoor Clay Court National Championship in the fall of 1995 and was the number ranked collegiate player as she compiled a 28-3 record before returning to Israel. Her first round opponent will be Alisa Kleybanova of Russia.

RESULTS Obziler lost her first round match, 6-4,6-0 and van der Merwe lost his first round match 7-5, 6-2,6-2.