By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA – The USF men’s tennis program has added two of the most sought-after junior players in the world.
Head coach Matt Hill is proud to announce 17-year-olds Sasha Gozun and Vadym Kalyuzhnyy have officially signed with the Bulls after they were recruited by elite programs that included No. 2 Georgia, No. 8 Kentucky and No. 15 Florida.
Gozun and Kalyuzhnyy are the second half of a signing class that has USF ranked No. 10 on the Tennis Recruiting Network's top 25 list for 2013.
“We signed both of these players over the best programs in college tennis,” Hill said. “We’re really excited about these two and we expect both of them to step in and push the rest of the guys.”
Gozun is originally from Moldova and has made quite an impression in America while living in Sarasota. TennisRecruiting.net has ranked Gozun No. 8 nationally in his graduating class and No. 1 in Florida after he was top five in the country as a 16-year-old. Gozun made it to the national hard court nationals last year before reaching the Easter Bowl quarterfinals and placing third at the Under-18 Super Nationals this year.
“This kid is really going to use college to springboard towards the pros. He can be one of the best in college tennis for sure,” Hill said.
Kalyuzhnyy is No. 2 in the Ukraine’s junior circuit and has been ranked as highly as No. 110 in the world on the under-18 ITF world circuit. Kalyuzhnyy won multiple titles on the ITF world junior tour as a 16-year-old.
Gozun and Kalyuzhnyy start summer school July 1 and Hill is excited about welcoming them into a USF program that’s eager to take the next step towards becoming a national title contender.
“They are two of the most talented and up-and-coming 17-year-olds in the world and they are incredibly hungry to learn and grow their games to the next level,” Hill said. “They are a perfect fit when it comes to our program and what it means to be a Bull. We are excited to have them on campus very soon and excited for next year’s season to begin.”