Salt Lake City, UT- The Utes’ Azat Hankuliyev recently won the mens open singles division of the Mercedes Benz & Wells Fargo Memorial Classic. The tournament was hosted by the Cottonwood County Club and took place from May 25th-30th.
In the quarterfinal round Hankuliyev took care of Draper’s Jensen Rideout 6-1,6-0, followed with a victory over top seeded, and former Ute teammate Matt Cowley 6-3,6-4 in the semifinals.
After his great performance against Cowley, Hankuliyev followed with a hard fought 3 set win over Notre Dame’s Brendon Kempin. After dropping the first set 6-3, he came away with a 3-6,6-1, 6-4 win.
“I was very happy with the way I played this tournament after a year of redshirting.” said Hankuliyev after the match. “My coaches and I have been working a lot on my game and it felt great to see the result of that. I look fiery much look forward to my upcoming season and keep on improving with my teammates.”
Hankuliyev was recently named the Utes’ “Mr. Reliable” for his hard work on and off the tennis court. His work ethic and leadership provide a huge boost for the Utes.
With his big serve, and even bigger forehand, Hankuliyev looks to make a big splash for the Utes as a freshman in 2017. He feels that redshirting in 2016 really helped him grow and improve his game.
Congratulations Azat, and GO UTES!!