BOCA RATON, Fla. – The Florida Atlantic University men’s tennis team will welcome top-caliber talent in 2016-17 as head coach Ricardo Gonzalez’s recruiting class is ranked No. 2 among mid-majors and No. 20 overall in the nation. The class of six, with the addition of Thomas Guy, Gabriel Sidney and Ivan Morin-Kougoucheff, includes a blue-chip, two five-stars and a four-star recruit.
“I am looking forward to being the best mentor I can be to these kids during their developmental stage as young adults,” Gonzalez said. “Not only are they great kids, but they are of course great tennis players that were highly ranked nationally and in the state of Florida.”
Thomas Guy has ranked as high as No. 9 in Germany and boasts four ITF doubles titles. As a dual citizen, Guy also competed in the junior Davis Cup in New Zealand, defeating multiple Top-70 opponents.
“I was immediately impressed with Thomas’ character, amazing energy, and friendly personality,” Gonzalez said. “Thomas will immediately make an impact in our team with his leadership skills. Thomas has big upside to his tennis game. He has weapons that can really develop over time.”
Gabriel Sidney comes to FAU from Londrina, Brazil by way of Pepperdine University. Prior to college, Sidney was ranked No. 1 in Brazil in 12s, 14s, 16s, and 18s rankings. He was ranked as high as No. 64 in the ITF World Junior Rankings, won the Londrina Tennis Cup, and participated in the 2015 Juniors US Open in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. At Pepperdine, Sidney earned All-WCC honorable mention in doubles ranked as high as No. 17 nationally in doubles and was named to the WCC Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
“I have been following Gabe since he was 15 years old and I was always impressed with his talent level,” Gonzalez said. “He has no limits to what he can become and I am looking forward to helping him develop the remaining pieces of his game. Not only is he an outstanding player, but an unbelievable kid who will bring a lot of maturity and experience to this team.”
Ivan Morin-Kougoucheff, brother of recent FAU graduate Andrei, won three high school state titles at Cypress Bay High School. Ivan becomes the fourth Morin-Kougoucheff sibling to play Division I Tennis.
“I had a very good first impression from Ivan,” Gonzalez said. “Not only is he a great tennis player with lots of room for growth, but most importantly he is a great kid who will blend in perfectly with our culture. I am excited to work with him and see how his game will develop over the years.”
The trio of signees join Jason Legall, Ignacio Garcia and Marwan Abaza, who each signed in the fall to join the Owls.
Jason Legall, a blue-chip recruit, ranks as the No. 13 recruit nationally, No. 2 in Florida and No. 3 in the southeast. The Palm Coast, Fla. native owns a No. 38 ranking in UTSA with a 40-9 overall record. He owns winning marks against fellow blue chips and five stars and has not lost to a four-star or lower opponent.
Ignacio Garcia is a five-star recruit from Puerto Rico where he was a member of the Davis Cup team. At the age of 16, Garcia became the youngest national champion in the nation’s history, winning the junior and open division championships in 2015 and 2016. Garcia also won the ITF Copa Palmas del Caribe in singles and doubles in 2016 and is listed as at Top-50 recruit.
Marwan Abaza has been training at the Rick Macci Tennis Academy for more than a decade. He is ranked as the No. 22 recruit in the state of Florida at 153 nationally. Abaza owns a pair of recent wins on the ITF circuit over blue chip recruits and has competed in multiple UTSA events as well.
The FAU squad is coming off of one of its best seasons in program history in 2016-17 and looks to utilize new talent to improve in 2017-18.