U’s Toledo faces tough challenge in NCAA tennis tournament

Leandro Toledo’s tennis career at Minnesota will come to an end this week — and it’s been quite a ride for him.

The senior from Hamburg, Germany, has 97 wins, tied for ninth in program history. And he was recently amed the Big Ten’s Player of the Year.

He is ranked No. 22 nationally, but has a tough opening match at Baylor in Waco, Texas. At 2:30 p.m. he will play senior Denis Nguyen of Harvard who has beaten him twice, 6-3, 7-5 on Nov. 7 amd 6-2, 6-4 on Feb. 21. Nguyen, of Anaheim, advanced to the NCAA semifinals a year ago. Toledo to the Round of 16.

Both lost to Alex Sarkissian of Peperdine a year ago. Toldedo by a score of 7-6 (1), 6-2.

Nguyen is ranked No. 34 and is 18-13. Toldeo is 19-8 this spring and led the Gophers to a three-way tie for the Big Ten regular-season title with a 10-1 mark.

Toledo also won the International Tennis Association’s most improved tennis player award among seniors in the Central Region.

He’s the Gophers’ first four-time all-conference pick and last year, with his NCAA finish, became Minnesota’s first All-America player since 2002.

He is 19-8 this spring at No. 1 singles.

Nguyen led Harvard to the ECAC title this spring.

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