The fall season opens for the Minnesota men's tennis team this weekend as four players participate in the Drake Invitational Friday through Sunday, Sept. 18-20 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Sophomores Johnathan Hadash, Michael Sicora and Eddie Svenda will participate for the Gophers, while freshman Brendan Ruddock makes his collegiate debut. The tournament begins Friday at 6 p.m. and continues with matches on Saturday and Sunday at 8 a.m. each day.
Other participating schools in the event are Creighton, Drake, Gustavus Adolphus, Northern Colorado, South Dakota State and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.
The tournament is the first of six fall events for the Gophers, who will also compete at Pepperdine and Harvard as well as two ITA events and the Big Ten Singles Championship.
Minnesota posted a 19-8 record in 2008-09 and reached the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Gophers return eight players from last season's squad, including six players who posted at least 19 victories. Minnesota returns 81 percent of its individual singles victories from last year.