Birthday Present is “Wildcard” Win Over Boca Raton’s Junior Superstar Rotsaert

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Edoardo Tessaro celebrated his 23rd birthday by coming back from a set down to win the “Survivor Series” pre-qualifying tournament Tuesday at the Delray Beach Stadium & Tennis Center. A graduate student and member of the Virginia Tech tennis team, Tessaro beat top-seeded five-star junior Alexandre Rotsaert 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (10-7) to win a wild card and a chance to play in his first ATP-level tournament.

“One of the best birthday presents ever,” said Tessaro, an Italian who came to the United States in January to work on his master’s degree in Human Nutrition, Foods & Exercise.

The win gives the No. 2 seeded Tessaro a wildcard into the Delray Beach Open’s 16-player qualifying tournament in February.  If Tessaro wins two matches in that qualifier, he would be one of four players to advance into the 32-player ATP World Tour’s Delray Beach Open.

To reach Tuesday’s final, Tessaro and Rotsaert not only “survived” the 90-player field, but also a condensed schedule that had them playing six matches in two days.  Rain cancelled portions of Saturday’s schedule and all of Sunday’s and the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals were all played on Tuesday.

“I was exhausted – six matches in two days,” said Tessaro, who was sick last week and missed practice time. “I’ve never played so many matches in my life in that short a time. I was happy the way I played.”

Tessaro got more than he bargained for when he signed up for the tournament as part of a vacation to Florida.  “I wanted to go somewhere for Thanksgiving break and my coach told me ‘here’s a tournament you could go play in and you could go enjoy Florida’,” he said. “I didn’t really have any ambitions. It was just to chill, honestly.”

Rotsaert, who trains in Boca Raton, has seen his USTA ranking rise to No. 4 among Boys 16-and-under following impressive showings in tournament over the last two months. He ran his USTA record to 40-18 by reaching the finals of the USTA Clay Court National Championships (Boys 18s) hosted by the City of  Delray Beach and the UTSA National Championships (Boys 16s) in Kalamazoo, MI.

“He was really good,” Tessaro said of his opponent before being informed that Rotsaert had just turned 16. “Oh my God! He’s really, really good. He’s a grinder, he’ll be a very good player.  I thought he was, like, 17 or 18.”

Tessaro went 20-4 in singles during Virginia Tech’s 2014-2015 spring season after arriving from Italy in January. He helped lead the Hokies to their highest final ranking – 18th – in program history.



(2) Edoardo Tessaro d. (1) Alexandre Rotsaert 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(7)


(2) Edoardo Tessaro d. (16) Pietro Rimondini 6-2, 6-4

(1) Alexandre Rotsaert d. (15) Nicolas Uryson 7-6, 7-5


(2) Edoardo Tessaro d. Boris Kozlov 6-2, 6-4

(16) Pietro Rimondini d. (7) Nicolas Mejia 7-5, 7-5

(15) Nicolas Uryson d. Robert Hammond 3-6, 6-0, 10-5

(1) Alexandre Rotsaert d. (9) Sami Kirberg 7-5, 7-6