The question wasn't so much where Thai-Son Kwiatkowski would go to college, but whether he would go.
Kwiatkowski, 17, a Blue Chip recruit from Charlotte, N.C., said he has played tennis as long as he can remember and wants to reach its highest level - the ATP Tour.
"I never thought that college would be my path, but I can still mature and get better in college," he said. "For sure, I've always wanted to be a touring pro."
Ranked fourth in the senior class and first in the Southeast by Tennisrecruiting.net, he recently committed to the University of Virginia. Given his background and the Cavaliers' excellent tennis program and academics, it would have been beyond stunning if he had picked anywhere else.
"My parents actually met at UVa, so it's pretty ironic," he said. "Both my parents went to UVa. I've been to the school many times and watched football and basketball games. I love the school, love the campus.
"I've always dreamed of going to UVa. They're No. 2 in the country and they've been to the finals many times, so I'd love to help them make that next push."
From NCAA individual crowns to team indoor national titles, the Cavaliers have accomplished just about everything possible in collegiate tennis - except an NCAA team championship. They were runners-up in 2012 and '11, semifinalists in 2010 and quarterfinalists in 2009, losing to Steve Johnson and Southern California all four times. They fell in the semis in 2008 and '07, to Georgia on both occasions, and in the quarterfinals in 2006 and '05.
It seems certain the Cavaliers will remain among college tennis' elite. A panel assembled by Tennisrecruiting.net rated UVa coach Brian Boland's 2012 spring class, headed by Mac Styslinger, the nation's best. Kwiatkowski and fellow Blue Chipper Jordan Daigle of Lafayette, La. are among the guys who will give the Cavaliers another top-rated group for 2013.
If Kwiatkowski's parents' background didn't preordain him to Charlottesville, his familiarity with Andres Pedroso might have. Pedroso is now a Virginia assistant coach, but the former Duke star coached Kwiatkowski long before the recruiting process.........read more