Espin Busleiman, 704 ATP, Joins Utes

Gero 3

Utah’s newest Ute; Geronimo Espin Busleiman (Argentina)

Salt Lake City, UT
– The University of Utah Men’s Tennis Team today announced the stellar signing of Geronimo Espin Busleiman to a National Letter of Intent (NLI). Busleiman, ranked as high as 704 in singles and 721 in doubles on the ATP World Tour, becomes Utah’s highest ATP ranked signee at the time of his commitment in program history.

“We are very excited and honored to add Gero to our team for next year,” said head coach Roeland Brateanu. “This guy is the real deal and will help us compete in the Pac-12 and on the national stage.”

Geronimo BusleimanBorn and raised in La Rioja, Argentina, Busleiman joins fellow countryman and former doubles partner Franco Capalbo at the University of Utah. Together they reached the semifinals of the Jr. French Open in doubles and won the Grade 1 ITF in Canada leading up to the US Open. He reached as high as No. 40 on the ITF Junior World Rankings, recording wins over 2019 ITA No. 1 Nuno Borges (Mississippi State) and 2018 No. 7 Patrick Kypson (Texas A&M).

Busleiman competed in his first Futures event in 2012 and since then has been in 4 Futures doubles finals and 1 Futures singles finals. In Argentina he ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation in juniors.

“I can’t wait to come to Utah and compete in the Pac-12 Conference,“ said Busleiman. “Sten (van Beurden) and Roeland (Brateanu) have proven to be great coaches that have developed players and have built a great program. I look forward to being a Ute!”

The Utes, in desperate need to repace their top graduating stars Dan Little and David Micevski, from last season, have one of the best recruiting classes in the country starring Geronimo Espin Busleiman, Franco Capalbo (821 ATP Singles, 529 ATP Doubles and 15 ITF), Puerto Rican Davis Cup player Rafael Grovas and 4-star Rian Ta.

Busleiman“The program is moving in the right direction,” said Brateanu. “In order for us to compete at a higher national level and in the Pac-12 we have oriented ourselves more towards the higher ranked international players with pro level experience. It all started with hiring (Associate Head Coach) Sten van Beurden and together with (Volunteer Assistant) Graeme Cox we will continue to rebuild this program so that we can reach even higher levels over the next few years. It’s an exciting process and the future looks bright!”

Welcome to the U, Gero!!

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Utes Announce Two Additions

Salt Lake City, UT – After a very successful 2019 campaign the University of Utah Men’s Tennis team today announced the commitment of two talented players to its 2019/2020 roster. Puerto Rican Davis Cupper Rafael Grovas and NoCal native Rian Ta will both join the team in the fall of 2019. The Utes earlier already announced the commitment of top prospect Franco Capalbo.

“We are excited to add Rafa and Rian to our squad for next year. Both are very talented young men with great work ethics that will fit perfectly within our current culture at the University of Utah,” said Head Men’s Tennis Coach Roeland Brateanu.

Rafael Grovas

4-star Recruit Rafael Grovas

Grovas, a 4-star recruit, has ranked as high as No. 405 on the ITF Junior World Rankings and has ranked No. 1 in Puerto Rico in every junior age category. Throughout juniors he has ranked top 5 in the COTECC (Central American & Carribean Tennis Confederation) and has ranked consistently amongst the top 100 players on the USTA National Rankings.

Grovas has represented Puerto Rico in the Davis Cup twice and has earned a total of 2 ATP points (currently ITF points) in the last year, one in Spain in 2018 and one in Mexico last April and he continues to compete on the ITF Tour until he starts school in August.

“I look forward and feel very proud for the opportunity of becoming a member of this great team,” said Grovas. “Becoming a Ute is a great honor for me and I believe that with a great coaching staff, support staff and teammates that we will reach all of our team goals, as well as my personal goal of playing professional tennis.”

Rian Ta hails from Fremont, California and has been one of the top juniors in the USTA

Rian Ta

Rian Ta

Northern California (NoCal) section throughout his young career. He ranked as high as No. 2 in Northern California in doubles and was routinely in the top 10 in singles. At the time of his verbal commitment he was a 4-star recruit ranked as high as No. 106 in the nation.

Ta will graduate from Laurel Springs High School and currently trains at Eaglefustar Academy in Santa Clara, California. He contemplated offers from Butler, Santa Clara, and Gonzaga, but eventually chose the U to continue his outstanding tennis career and to pursue a degree in Business Marketing.

“I chose the U because of the amazing facilities and because of how friendly everyone was on my visit,” said Ta. “One of the main reasons I chose Utah was because of the amazing coaching staff. I felt a great connection and just felt this was the right place for me.”

Welcome to the U Rian and Rafa!!

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World No. 15 Junior, Franco Capalbo, Signs with Utes


             Franco Capalbo                               ITF No. 15                                ATP Singles 802            ATP Doubles No. 529

Salt Lake City, UT – The University of Utah men’s tennis is proud to announce the signing of Franco Capalbo (Argentina) to a National Letter of Intent, already proving how valuable Associate Head Coach Sten van Beurden great reputation on the ITF and ATP Tours is to the Utes.

“We are absolutely thrilled that Franco chose the University of Utah,” said Head Men’s Tennis Coach Roeland Brateanu. “Franco is one of the best signees in school history and will help us in our quest for a Pac-12 championships.”

Born and raised in Lujan, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Capalbo ranked as high as No. 802 in singles (December 2018) and No. 529 (December 2018) in doubles on the ATP World Tour Rankings. He won the doubles F2 Futures event in Bolivia in 2018 and furthermore was a finalist in 5 more doubles Futures events. In singles he reached the finals of the Morocco F3 Futures in 2018.

“It has always been my dream to come to the United States and get a college degree and it’s with profound pride that I will become a Ute and be coached by such a great coaching staff,” said Capalbo. “I have looked up to and respected Sten and his reputation in South America and I look forward to becoming a member of the University of Utah and its great tradition. I know that my coaches and their fantastic support staff  will help me improve as a tennis player, as well as academically. I am very motivated to get started and fully jump on this great opportunity.”

In junior competition, Capalbo ranked as high as No. 15 on the ITF Junior World Rankings and competed in three of the four Grand Slams. After defeating Jake Delaney (AUS) and Stefano Tsitsipas (GRE) in the first two rounds at Wimbledon, he lost in the third round to Taylor Fritz (USA).



Capalbo after his sensational win over Stefano Tsitsipas in the 2nd round of the Jr. Wimbledon Championships.

At the French Open, after losing in the first round in singles, he reached the semifinals in doubles, partnering Geronimo Espin Busleiman (Argentina). Overall, Capalbo won 5 ITF Junior singles titles, four of which were Grade 2s, and 5 ITF doubles titles, peaking with his tournament victory at the Grade 1 Canadian Open Junior championships in Repentigny, Canada. In the 16s he also was the runner up of the prestigious Torneo Dell Avenire in Milan, Italy.


Capalbo in action at the Jr. French Open in Paris, France, where he reached the semifinals in doubles.

Throughout his junior career, Capalbo reined in Argentina and South America. He was the No. 1 junior in Argentina in the 14s, 16s and 18s age categories. In the South American junior circuit, COSAT, he was ranked No. 2 in the 16s and No. 1 in the 18s and he represented Argentina in the Junior Davis Cup in Mexico.

Capalbo is scheduled to join the Utes in the fall of 2019. Welcome to the Ute family, Franco!

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Brateanu Earns 2018 Don Reddish Coach of the Year Award


Coach Roeland Brateanu (center) and the Utah Men’s Tennis Team receiving the 2018 Don Reddish Coach of the Year Award in front of 50,000 fans at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – University of Utah men’s tennis coach Roeland Brateanu was named the 2018 recipient of the Don Reddish Coach of the Year Award, announced at last night’s football game.

The Don Reddish Award is given out annually to the coach of an Olympic sport who is deemed to have had the most successful season the previous year.

Brateanu and the Utes qualified for its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 21 years in 2018 after finishing with a 19-10 record, the most wins since 1989. Utah peaked as high as No. 24 in the ITA National Rankings and finished the year undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the ITA Mountain Region.

He was the ITA Mountain Region Coach of the Year in 2017 and 2018, and is currently in his fifth season at the helm at the University of Utah.  Dan Little earned Pac-12 honors with program-best five athletes making it on the Pac-12 All-Academic team.


The boys had a blast on the field


And got to hang out with Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz

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Benkaim and Cory Reach Semifinals at ITA Regionals

Russell Benkaim

Sophomore Russell Benkaim

LAS VEGAS –The University of Utah men’s tennis team wrapped up play earlier today at the ITA Regional Tournament, with Utes competing in the quarterfinal doubles, semifinal doubles and in extra singles matches.

In quarterfinal doubles, No. 2 seed Russell Benkaim and Randy Cory were able to defeat Felipe Acosta and Duro Opacic of Utah State, with a final score of 8-7(3). Slava Shainyan and David Micevski were unable to card a victory against Kostya Nesterenko and Julien Evrard from Nevada, as they fell 8-5

In the semifinal doubles, Benkaim and Cory fell short of advancing to the finals, as the fell short to Kostya Nesterenko and Julien Evrard from Nevada, with a final score of 6-3, 6-4.

Shainyan played in an extra singles match today as well, as he was unable to notch a win against BYU’s Mateo Vereau Melendez, with a score of 7-6(8), 6-1.

The ITA Regional Tournament will wrap up tomorrow with the last day of competition, with the doubles final and singles final.

Quarterfinal Doubles Results
Nesterenko/Evrard (UNR) def. Shainyan/Micevski (UTAH), 8-5
Cory/Benkaim (UTAH) def. Acosta/Opacic (USU), 8-7(3)

Semifinal Doubles Results
Nesterenko/Evrard (UNR) def. Cory/Benkaim (UTAH), 6-3, 6-4

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Sten van Beurden Named Associate Head Coach

Sten on Tour

Sten van Beurden (left) while coaching Benjamin Becker (right) at Indian Wells. Coach Van Beurden will bring a wealth of international and collegiate coaching experience to the U.

SALT LAKE CITY – University of Utah head men’s tennis coach Roeland Brateanu announced the hiring of Sten van Beurden as the Utes’s associate head coach for the 2018-19 season today.

“Sten and I have known each other for well over 25 years and I have always admired his career with great respect and admiration,” Brateanu said. “Besides being an impeccable coach, his record speaks for itself, he is an unbelievable person that believes in doing things the right way. There aren’t many people that have a more positive energy and passion for life than Sten. I couldn’t be more proud to start working alongside him and would like to welcome him, Tati and the boys to our Utah family.”

Van Beurden, who is a native of the Netherlands, comes to Utah with years of successful coaching experience at both the collegiate level and on the ATP World Tour. He was also a Davis Cup captain for Indonesia in 2009.

On the tour, Van Beurden was a full time traveling coach for several athletes ranked in the top-200 in the world, including the 2004 NCAA singles champion, Benjamin Becker (No. 35 ATP), the 2005 NCAA singles champion Benedikt Dorsch (No. 127 ATP) and Romanian national champion Marius Copil (No. 73 ATP).

photo sten utah

University of Utah Associate Head Men’s Tennis Coach Sten van Beurden

He also served as a hitting partner for multiple international tennis players during his time on the ATP Tour, including 1996 Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek (No. 4 in the ATP) and 2003 French Open finalist Martin Verkerk (No. 14 ATP).

As a collegiate coach, Van Beurden was an assistant men’s coach at Georgia State from 2000-01 before taking over as the head coach from 2001-02. At the helm, he led the team to a top-50 national ranking along with earning Atlantic Sun Conference Coach of the Year.

After his stint at Georgia State, Van Beurden was an assistant at Baylor from 2002-03, coaching the Bears to a 28-2 record, a Big 12 Regular Season and Tournament Championships and a No. 2 ranking in the country.

Possibly his biggest accomplishment of his career was to guide both Francisco Bahamonde and Manuel Pena Lopez to top-20 ITF World Junior Rankings and guiding Bahamonde to become the youngest player in ATP history to win two ATP points at age 14.

Van Beurden played one year of collegiate tennis at Alabama before becoming a professional. He went on to achieve a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Amsterdam and completed his MBA in corporate finance from Georgia State.

Since his time with the ATP Tour, Van Beurden has been based out of Mendoza, Argentina where he lives with his wife, Tatiana, and two sons, Valentin (13) and Timo (11).

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Utah Camps Announce Major Changes, Hamza to Return

Hamza and Brateanu

Slim Hamza (right) listening to then Assistant Coach Roeland Brateanu (left) in 2014.

Head Men’s Tennis Coach Roeland Brateanu today announced sweeping changes to the University of Utah Tennis Camp structure.

First and foremost, former Ute star Slim Hamza returns to the U as the new Director of Tennis Camps. Hamza, a native of Kairouan, Tunisia, returns to the University of Utah after spending two seasons as the Assistant Men’s Tennis Coach at the UNLV, where he lead the team a 33-19 overall record.

Prior to joining the coaching ranks at UNLV, Hamza ranked as high as No. 69 in the world on the ITF Rankings and made it to the 2nd round in the Australian Open. He joined the Utes in 2011 and in his four seasons competing at the top spot, Hamza ranked as high as No. 34 in the nation and was named to the All-Pac 12 Team three consecutive years.

Due to his tremendous success on the court, he was named a starter for the 2013 Davis Cup rubber against Latvia, where he faced Ernesto Gulbis. After a career ending back injury in 2015, Hamza joined the Utah coaching staff for one season as a Student-Assistant Coach, before departing for a full time position at UNLV.

“We are tremendously excited with the Slim’s return to the University of Utah,” said Coach Brateanu. “Slim was an unbelievable player and is a tremendous coach. He is the right man for the job and I know he will do a fantastic job in our tennis community.”

Dee-Dee Nelson will remain in charge of the highly successful junior development program, which exploded onto the Utah tennis scene last summer and has grown into one of the biggest and most successful junior development programs in the state.

“Dee-Dee has done an unbelievable job with our junior development program and we are excited to have her continue to work her magic,” said Coach Brateanu. “The way she connects with and her passion for juniors is unparalleled in our state. The new camp structure will allow her to flourish even more!”

Nelson will be assisted by former Ute star Tereza Bekerova and members of the Utah coaching staff and current and former Utah players.

Jason Weir-Smith will run the newly created adult division of the Utah Tennis Camps which will include Men’s and Ladies’ workouts in all divisions and levels, Adult Summer Camps, Match Play and much, much more.

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Utah Athletics Shines in Latest APR Report

INDIANAPOLIS – The NCAA has announced its latest single and multi-year Academic Progress Report (APR) for NCAA Division I schools. The APR accounts for eligibility, retention and graduation of all student-athletes on scholarship, and provides a measure of each team’s academic performance.

The latest multi-year APR calculations include scores from 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17. The average for Utah’s teams was 986 easily exceeding the NCAA minimum requirement of 930.

Utah had five sports (gymnastics, men’s tennis, women’s basketball, women’s tennis, and volleyball) with perfect single-year APR scores of 1000. The volleyball team earned a perfect single-year APR score for the fifth consecutive year, gymnastics received a perfect score for the fourth straight season, and men’s tennis has been perfect for three years in a row.

Cross country, gymnastics and volleyball each registered perfect multi-year APR scores of 1000. These teams, along with track, received public recognition from the NCAA for posting a multi-year APR in the top 10 percent of all athletic teams in the country. Track also posted the highest multi-year APR score for the Pac-12, while cross country, gymnastics and volleyball were all tied for the top score in their respective disciplines.

The football (983) and men’s basketball (985) teams posted the third-highest multi-year APR scores in the Pac-12 for their respective sports. Football produced a multi-year APR ranking in the top third of the Pac-12 Conference for a seventh-straight year.

Four Utah teams improved their multi-year scores from a year ago. Making gains were women’s basketball (+10), men’s swimming (+6), gymnastics (+4), and women’s track (+2). Baseball, football, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and volleyball all maintained the same multi-year APR.

For a complete view of the entire NCAA database, click here.

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Utes Garner 5 ITA Awards

TEMPE, Ariz. – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced its 2018 Division 1 Mountain Regional winners this morning with Utah earning four individual awards and one team honor.

David Micevski was named the ITA Player to Watch after going 15-8 this season at the top of the Utah lineup. The junior from Macedonia is a two-time All-Pac-12 honoree and provides Utah a bright future alongside last year’s winner, Dan Little.

Roeland Brateanu was named the Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year for a second-straight campaign. He became the first Utah head coach to win postseason awards in multiple years since F.D. Robbins in 1990 (WAC Coach of the Year). Utah went 17-2 in non-conference play and ranked as high as No. 24 in the nation en route to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in over two decades.

Daniel Pollock was named the tasc Performance ITA Assistant Coach of the Year, which means every member of Utah’s current staff has now won this award (Brateanu in 2014 and Graeme Cox in 2007).

Egbert Weverink became the fourth Ute to earn the ITA Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award, joining Brateanu (’04), Brandon Owen (’97) and Cox (’92). As one of two senior captains, he helped guide the Utes to the postseason by playing in the middle of the singles lineup and teaming with Joe Woolley in doubles action.

Finally, the Utes were recognized for their work off the court as one of seven schools across the nation to earn an ITA Community Service Award. Recently, the team joined with former football player Stevenson Sylvester to organize and send school supplies to the Dominican Republic.

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Utes Lose to No. 14 Oklahoma in NCAA Tournament

NORMAN, Okla. – Making its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 21 years, the Utah men’s tennis team was beaten this afternoon by No. 14 Oklahoma, 4-0.

“Congratulations to Oklahoma on the win today and for being fantastic hosts,” head coach Roeland Brateanu said. “We competed like lions today and made it a match but came up a little short against a very good Sooner team. We learned what it was like to be back on the big stage and will take these valuable experiences into next season.”

Utah dropped the doubles point and entered singles play trailing on the scoreboard, 1-0. Russell Benkaim and Randy Cory pushed the top Oklahoma pair, Alex Bakshi and Jake van Emburgh, ranked No. 44 in the country, before falling, 6-4.

Those two Sooners cruised to victories on courts one and two in singles play and gave the hosts a commanding 3-0 lead in the match.

Meanwhile, Egbert Weverink and Cory both won their second singles sets by identical 6-3 scores to force final frames. Unfortunately, neither Ute was able to see it out as the match ended with the Sooners sealing a fourth point on court six.

Utah went 17-2 in non-conference play and ranked as high as No. 24 in the nation after winning its first two Pac-12 matches for the first time since joining the conference in 2012

No. 14 Oklahoma 4, Utah 0

Alex Bakshi def. Dan Little, 6-2, 6-2
Jake van Emburgh def. David Micevski, 6-1, 6-3
Santiago Sierra vs. Ferran Calvo, unf.
Egbert Weverink vs. Adrian Oetzbach, unf.
Randy Cory vs. Jochen Bertsch, unf.
Stefano Tsorotiotis def. Slava Shainyan, 6-1, 7-6
Order of finish: 2,1,6

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