Thursday, May 8, 2014

Altamirano to attend Virginia -- maybe

Collin Altamirano will enroll at Virginia in January
unless he turns pro. 2013 photo by Paul Bauman
   Sacramento native Collin Altamirano has verbally committed to NCAA defending champion Virginia.
   Altamirano confirmed recently that he will enroll at Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson in Charlottesville in 1819, in January unless he turns professional. Last year's USTA boys 18 national champion, who trains at the Arden Hills Resort and Spa in Sacramento, said he will decide by the end of the year based on his results in pro tournaments.
   The 6-foot-2 (1.87-meter) Altamirano has played as an amateur in eight pro tournaments, all in the United States, this year. He has had some overall success in five Futures, comparable to Class A in baseball, and struggled in three Challengers, equivalent to Triple A.
   In the Futures, Altamirano reached the singles semifinals at Bakersfield in March and quarterfinals at Sunrise, Fla., in February. He won the doubles title at Boynton Beach, Fla., in February and advanced to the doubles final at Sunrise the following week, playing with fellow 18-year-old Deiton Baughman of Carson in each tournament. 
   In the singles semis at Bakersfield, Altamirano came within a tiebreaker of beating third seed and eventual champion Daniel Kosakowski of Downey before falling 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3. Kosakowski, who turned pro in 2011 after playing No. 1 at UCLA as a freshman, has four wins over top-100 players.
   Virginia won its first NCAA Division I men's tennis title last year, ending USC's four-year reign. The fourth-ranked Cavaliers (23-2), coached by Brian Boland, will open their defense on Saturday at home against Army.
   Altamirano said last summer that he also had received scholarship offers from Illinois, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and Washington. He added that he was not being recruited by Stanford, Cal, USC or UCLA but didn't elaborate. Altamirano could not be reached today.
   Last August, Altamirano became the first unseeded player in the 71-year history of the USTA Boys 18 National Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich., to capture the title. Past winners include International Tennis Hall of Famers Michael Chang, Stan Smith and Dennis Ralston. 
   The title gave Altamirano a wild card into the U.S. Open men's singles draw, in which he lost to 22nd-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 in the first round. Altamirano then  reached the junior boys quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows.
   Altamirano trained with Roger Federer in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where the Swiss star has a residence, for two weeks in December and served as a practice partner for the U.S. Davis Cup team's first-round matchup against Great Britain, Jan. 31-Feb. 2 in San Diego. Great Britain upset the Americans 3-1.

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