It was a good week for the college kids.
A week after winning his first-ever professional title on his home courts at Texas Tech University, Olle Wallin defeated Maciej Rajsik 7-6(6), 7-5, in Sunday’s singles final of the ITF Albuquerque 15K held at UNM’s McKinnon Family Tennis Stadium.
His singles win came one day after two UNM players — Alex Maggs and Jan Pucalka — won the USTA Pro Circuit event’s doubles title as a wild-card entry.
Per NCAA rules, since Wallin, Maggs and Pucalka are still competing in college, they are unable to collect prize money from the event, but do receive ITF world ranking points.
For Wallin, a junior at Texas Tech from Sweden, it’s back-to-back professional event wins after taking last week’s West Texas Pro Tennis Open — also classified as an “M15” event, signifying it is a men’s tournament with a $15,000 total prize purse. It is the lowest professional level event the ITF has, and one that, through the USTA has recently emphasized hitting university settings, where collegiate players are allowed to play in tournament fields primarily comprised of professionals.
As for the future of the event, brought to UNM in coordination with the City of Albuquerque, both parties are hopeful.
It’s been five years since the ColemanVision women’s tournament, a $75,000-level event, was played in Albuquerque, bringing an end to annual professional tennis events in this city.
David Simon, Director of the City’s Parks and Recreation division, told the Journal on Saturday he was thrilled with the running of this event and the turnout and was optimistic it is just a starting point.
“We are committed to a strong partnership with UNM to grow the game in our community for all ages, and this tournament is part of a very conscious plan to build the sports and outdoor recreation economy in our city,” Simon said.
“… I think the tournament has been a tremendous success. The level of play has been high. If we can succeed with this level of tournament, we can build back and succeed with even higher-level tournaments.”