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Former Pilot Makes Mark in Pro Tennis

Dec. 1, 2006

PORTLAND, Ore. - Former University of Portland tennis star Roman Borvanov, who graduated from The Bluff in 2005, has seen a great deal of success on the professional tennis circuit this year, winning three titles and advancing to at least the quarterfinals in six other tournaments. His world ATP ranking is currently 400, up more than 500 spots from his 902 ranking on Januray 2, 2006.

"Roman is living a dream," head men's tennis coach Aaron Gross said. "He has gone from being an overlooked junior player in his home country of Moldova, to being a solid college player for UP, to being among the best men tennis players in the world. He is among the top 50 ranked American players in the world and will finish the year around 400 on the ATP computer."

Borvanov's most recent tournament victory came three weeks ago in Queretaro, Mexico, where he defeated Brazil's Rodrigo Grilli in straight sets to win the Mexico F20 Futures. He also won the Mexico F2 Futures in Mexico City and the Mexico F7 in Guadalajara. Last weekend, he advanced to the quarterfinals of the Puebla Challenger.

"This was my first full year on the circuit and I am pretty happy with my achievements," Borvanov said. "I started the year at 900 ATP and finishing it 400 ATP. I played 26 pro tournaments and 21 times I was playing in the main draw. I also played 2 money tournaments in Oregon and won both of them."

Borvanov also competed in the Davis Cup for his native country of Moldova, going 3-1 overall in singles play to help Moldova to victories over Andorra and Armenia before falling to Monaco and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

"Playing Davis Cup was a little bit similar to college team tennis but with the difference that there was much more pressure because I was representing the whole country," Borvanov said.

Even with his tremendous successes this year, Borvanov is aiming higher. He plans on including many more challenger tourmanents into his schedule in 2007 and has a goal of playing in the qualifiers for some of the ATP tour events as well as for the Grand Slam tournaments.

"When Roman first started out we were just hoping he would be able to get a world ranking," Gross said. "Now we are looking at the real possibility of him being able to compete in a Wimbledon or US Open type of event."

Borvanov also acts as in inspiration for Portland's current tennis players, proving that dedication and hard work can pay off at the next level.

"He is a motivation to all of our guys," Gross said. "They all see that the secret to his success has been a toughness and work ethic that is achievable by anyone if you want it bad enough. Roman is one of the few around that wants it that bad. Our guys see that and it gives them hope that they could have a chance to have success after college.

"He was invaluable to our program when he actually played here and continues to touch the program even when he is gone," Gross continued. "Whenever he wins an event the first thing he does is put on his UP Tennis shirt for the award ceremony. He means a lot to us."