Highly ranked Swede signs with Gauchos

Lucas Südow, the 10th-ranked junior player in Sweden, has signed a National Letter of Intent to play tennis at UCSB, men’s coach Marty Davis announced Friday.  The addition of Südow, combined with two fall signings and a host of returnees gives the four-time defending Big West champion Gauchos great optimism for the 2009-10 season.

“Lucas is a good athlete with strong doubles skills,” Davis said.  “I expect him to have an immediate impact for us, particularly in doubles.”

At the conclusion of the Swedish junior season in December of 2008, Südow was ranked 10th nationally.  A native of Helsingborg, he will continue to play in Sweden during the summer of 2009, taking part in the country’s senior clay season.  Südow climbed in the rankings as high 288th among all juniors in Europe, and he was most recently ranked 152nd among seniors in Sweden. He is a two-time winner of the Fair Play Cup, Sweden’s second-largest indoor tournament.  In addition to tennis, Südow is a fine all-around athlete who has competed in soccer and golf.

Südow joins UCSB’s early National Letter of Intent signees, Benjamin Recknagel (Munich, Germany) and Max Glenn (Menlo Park, Calif.), to form the program’s 2009-10 freshmen class.

“This may be the best recruiting class we’ve had in a decade,” Davis declared.  “The three recruits, combined with the players we have coming back should give us something to look forward to next year.

Returning as a junior in 2009-10 will be 2008 Big West Player of the Year Philip Therp, an injury redshirt this past season.  Prior to his injury, Therp was playing No. 1 for the Gauchos.  Another junior will be Alex Konigsfeldt, the 2009 Big West Player of the Year.  Konigsfeldt played No. 2 prior to Therp’s injury, but was bumped to No. 1 for much of the year and ultimately helped lead UCSB to its fourth consecutive title.  Seniors Josh Finkelstein and Scott Hohenstein, both all-league selections, will return too, as will several other major contributors to the 2009 team.