Gabriel Dias Signs With Red Raider Tennis|
Texas Tech signee Gabriel Dias (right) practiced with Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open.
August 6, 2012
LUBBOCK, Texas - No. 23 Texas Tech solidified its 2013 spring lineup with the addition of Brazilian Gabriel Dias, one of the top junior players in South America, announced Red Raider head tennis coach Tim Siegel.
"Gabriel is someone that we feel can come in and contribute right away," said Siegel. "He brings a wealth of experience and a solid work ethic and we are excited to have him as a part of our program."
Dias, who will arrive on campus in January, joins a Texas Tech squad that is coming off of its sixth straight NCAA appearance and 12th overall under Siegel.
"Being part of a school like Texas Tech that is so good academically as well as the athletically, only gives me more desire to keep pursuing my goals and become a professional player down the road," said Dias. "I will give my best on the tennis court and in the classroom to always represent Texas Tech as best as I can. I am extremely thankful for the opportunity and I cannot wait to embark on this new journey."
Dias, a native of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, was ranked as the No. 1 player in Brazil in Boys 12s and Boys 14s. He won the Brazilian Boys 16s championship and was ranked in the Top 10 in all of South America. His efforts earned him an ITF World Juniors ranking of No. 50.
After securing three ITF Top 10 wins, Dias participated in the Australian Open Junior Boys Singles Championship, where he was selected as the practice partner with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Dias, who is currently attending Universiade FUMEC in Belo Horizonte, has been ranked as high as No. 824 in singles and No. 751 in doubles on the ATP World Tour. In comparison, two-time Texas Tech All-American Raony Carvalho has been ranked as high as No. 815 in singles and No. 554 in doubles on the ATP World Tour.
"We are extremely fortunate to have a player like Gabriel Dias joining our squad," added assistant coach Marcelo Ferreira. "Gabriel is an experienced player who has played many international tournaments including Junior Grand Slams and he will be able to not only bring experience to the team but also talent, sportsmanship and incredible work ethic. I'm looking forward to coaching him and watch him represent Texas Tech."
Dias joins a recruiting class that includes Louis Fabre (Paris, France) and Felipe Soares (Santos, Brazil).