ODU Men's Tennis BIO
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  Izak van der Merwe Izak van der Merwe
Player Profile


Kempton Park, South Africa
High School:

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Izak van der Merwe is ODU’s first two-time ITA Collegiate Tennis All-American and the only Monarch to reach the national semifinals in the NCAA, All-American and & Indoor national championships. He advanced to the NCAA national semifinals in singles during the 2005 season as well as the 2005 ITA National Indoor Championships. Ranked as high as 24th nationally, van der Merwe, compiled a 27-12 singles record and finished his ODU career with a 100-39 mark, second best in school history. In 2004, he teamed with Zoltan Csanadi to advance to the NCAA doubles national championship semifinals, as well as the finals of the ITA National Indoor Championships and the semifinals of the ITA All-American Championships. He compiled a 92-45 career doubles record. Van der Merwe was named to the CAA’s Silver Anniversary squad for men’s tennis. In June 2008, van der Merwe qualified for the 2008 Wimbledon main draw, beating World No. 177 Miguel Angel Lopez Jaen, World No. 126 Kristian Pless, and World No. 246 Frederic Niemeyer . He would also qualify for the Australian (2012) and French Opens (2011). In 2011, van der Merwe ranked as high as 94th in the world. A native of South Africa, Izak now lives in Dallas, TX where he is working towards an MBA at the University of Texas in Dallas. He graduated from ODU with a degree in finance.

Career: 73-27 singles record; 73-33 doubles record...

Fall 2004: 9-4 singles record; 5-4 doubles record...Ranked ninth in the Preseason ITA Poll...Earned a 9-4 fall tournament singles mark which included the quarterfinals of the UVA Fall Invite, the quarterfinals of the Icy Hot/ITA All-American Championships, the Round of 32 at the Wilson/ITA Mideast Regional, and the semifinals of the ITA National Indoor Championships...Teamed with Nate Grover for a #26 preseason ranking...Finished the fall tournament season with a 5-4 doubles mark which included the Round of 16 at the ICY Hot/ITA All-American Championships and the Wilson/ITA Mideast Regional...

2003-04: 31-11 singles record; 23-15 doubles record...All-American in both singles and doubles...Ranked 20th in the final ITA Poll in men's singles and 14th in men's doubles...Reached the Round of 16 in the NCAA men's tennis singles tournament...Defeated 13th ranked opponent...First ever ODU men's tennis player to earn CAA Player of the Year honors...Also named the CAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player...Named the Region II Player to watch...Teamed with former Monarch Zoltan Csanadi in doubles to go 14-6...Reached the semifinal of the NCAA men's tennis doubles tournament...Appeared in the finals of the ITA National Indoor Championships and the UVA Fall Classic...Reached the semifinals of the ITA All-American Championships...

2002-03: 23-6 singles record; 37-7 doubles record ...Ranked #13 according to the final ITA Poll with Zoltan Csanadi in doubles...First Team All-CAA selection in both singles and doubles...Ranked 18th in the Mideast Regional rankings in singles play and third in doubles play...Appeared in the NCAA Doubles Tournament making a first round appearance in Athens, Georgia...Captured the ITA Region II Doubles Champions...Also won the Virginia Tournament Doubles title...Reached the finals of the ITA National Indoor Championships after upsetting the the tournament's top seed in the opening round of play...Reached the quarterfinals of the Virginia Tournament in singles play...

2001-02: Joined the Monarchs for the spring season...A Second Team All-CAA selection...Closed his rookie campaign with a 10-6 dual meet singles record and a 7-7 doubles mark...Teamed with senior Salman Mohammed for a 5-2 mark at second doubles...Joined with sophomore Zoltan Csanadi to pick up Second Team All-CAA honors in doubles play....

Prior to Old Dominion: Member of the South Africian World Youth Cup team in 1998 and 2000...Was a four-year letterwinner in tennis at his high school in Pretoria, South Africa...Also played Cricket in high school...


Born January 26, 1984 in South Africa...Son of Johan and Sarietjie van der Merwe...Has two brothers, Marinus and Martin ... Graduated in 2005 with a degree in finance.

Favorite Movie: Gladiator
Favorite Book: "Kane and Abel" by Jeffrey Archer
Person I'd most like to meet or have met: Paul Kruger
Favorite Sports Personality: Pete Sampras
My Dream Vacation: Secluded Island/playing golf
If I could play a musical instrument, I'd play: Guitar
Best tennis accomplishment: Represented South Africa at the World Youth Cup in 1998 and 2000
Favorite professional sports team: South Frican (Springboks) rugby team
Most impressive person I have met:Pres. Jarais Viljoen
Academic Major: Finance
My goal in life: Maximize my potential as a tennis player

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