EUGENE, Ore. – The University of Oregon men’s tennis team signed prized international recruit Simon Stevens to a National Letter of Intent, head coach Nils Schyllander announced on Friday. Stevens, a native of Charleroi, Belgium, has been ranked as high as No. 152 in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior world rankings.
"We’re extremely excited to welcome Simon to the Oregon tennis family," said Schyllander. "He has a wealth of experience against the toughest junior players in the world and is capable of making an immediate impact for us next season. He also embodies exactly what we’re looking for in a student-athlete."
A right-handed player out of Athénée Royal M. Bervoets primary school, Stevens has been ranked as high as number three amongst all junior players in Belgium. For his results in futures tournaments, Stevens earned points towards his Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) ranking. Stevens is currently ranked 1,603 in the ATP pro rankings. Recently, Stevens defeated a top 50 ITF opponent in the Belgian International Junior Championships to advance to the round of 32.
Stevens becomes the third standout Belgian recruit to sign with Oregon in the past five years. Robin Cambier was the first Belgian to sign under Schyllander prior to the 2010 season. Four years later, Cambier is graduating as the program’s all-time winningest player. UO also signed Kevin Farin, a native of Etterbeek, Belgium, last season. In his first year of collegiate tennis this season, Farin played in the top two spots in the lineup and earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention honors this year.
Oregon is coming off one of its best seasons in program history after advancing to the Pac-12 Championship semifinals for the first time ever and qualifying to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2004. In the midst of the winningest three-year stretch in program history, UO will lose only one player from this year’s squad while returning seven letterwinners and welcoming Stevens for the 2014-15 season.