BYU's Patrick Kawka reaches final of Southern California Championships

Patrick Kawka advanced to the singles final of the Southern California Championships. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

LOS ANGELES – BYU sophomore Patrick Kawka looks to upset No. 3 seed Clay Thompson of UCLA Monday in the singles final of the Southern California Intercollegiate Championships in Los Angeles.

“This is a tournament with a great tradition of having some of the best Americans in history win the title,” BYU assistant coach Zack Warren said. “Patrick did well in this tournament last year, upsetting UCLA’s Daniel Kosakowski. For him to do this well again this year says a lot about him and where his game is.”

Kawka, who is ranked No. 53 nationally, cruised past his semifinal foe Alex Brigham of powerhouse UCLA, 6-4, 6-2, to reach the finals.

Along with Kawka, No. 5 seed senior Georgy Batrakov and freshman Keaton Cullimore made quarterfinal appearances, a feat Warren said says a lot about where the team’s level of play is.

“For us to have three guys in the quarterfinals of this tournament says a lot about where out team is at,” Warren said. “You’ve got UCLA, USC and several other teams, including Pepperdine, San Diego and LMU that will be in our conference, in the tournament. Those are some of the best schools in country in tennis and for us to have three guys in the quarterfinals of a tournament of this magnitude is great.”

In the doubles draw, Batrakov and Kawka reached the quarterfinals with an 8-3 victory over UC Riverside’s Austin Andres and Felix Marcherez. The BYU duo continued its tournament run with an 8-5 win over Azusa Pacific’s Janosch Apelt and Jochem Hoefnagels.

Batrakov and Kawka are set to challenge No. 2 seed Alex Brigham and Clay Thompson of UCLA in the semifinals Sunday. Due to BYU’s policy of not playing on Sunday, the BYU pair will not compete.

Freshman Francis Sargeant and Cullimore fell to Brigham and Thompson of UCLA, 8-4, in the Round of 16.

Freshman David Doehring and sophomore Travis Fillmore pushed their Round of 16 match to a tiebreaker but were edged out by Gernot Hagemann and Bruno Santarelli of Concordia, falling 9-8(3).

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