Michigan Men’s Tennis Signs Three to NLIs
12/8/2020 10:40:00 AM
// Kristy McNeil
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — University of Michigan men’s tennis head coach Adam Steinberg announced Tuesday (Dec. 8) the signing of Will Cooksey, Patorn Hanchaikul and Alexander Zederbauer to National Letters of Intent.
“This is a very special recruiting class that will have an immediate impact on our program,” Steinberg said. “All three players have had a tremendous amount of success competing all over the U.S. and the world. When you think of the term ‘student-athlete,’ these guys embody that in every sense of the word. Very proud to call them Wolverines.”
A five-star blue-chip recruit and native of Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich., Cooksey is a four-time state Division 4 singles champion. He is the first player in the state to win four consecutive state titles in any division since 1960. He earned the 2020 Mr. Tennis Award, presented by the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Association.
Ranked as the No. 6 senior by Tennis Recruiting, Cooksey has been ranked as high as No. 3 and was ranked No. 1 on the Dunlop RPI list. He is ranked No. 4 in the USTA 18s Combined and finished the 2019 season ranked No. 1 in the USTA 16s Combined.
The winner of the Gold Ball at the 2019 USTA 18s National Indoor Singles, he took the Silver Ball the previous year at the USTA 16s National Indoor Doubles. Cooksey also won the 2019 USTA 16s International Spring Court Championships in doubles and was a finalist in singles, and won the 2018 USTA 16s Midwest Level 1 singles.
Cooksey helped his high school, University Liggett School, to state championships in 2017 and 2020.
Cooksey chose Michigan because of the “coaching staff, current roster of teammates and recruits, world class academics and the athletic facilities.” He has a lifelong love of University of Michigan sports, as both of his parents and his grandfather attended U-M. He intends to enroll in general studies with a minor in business.
A native of Bangkok, Thailand, Hanchaikul owns four ITF titles and has been a runner-up three times. He captured singles titles at the 2019 ITF G4 Hyderabad, 2019 ITF G3 Sarawak Minister’s Cup and 2019 ITG G2 Nonthaburi. He placed second at both the ITF G4 Shenzhen 1 and the ITF G4 Ho Chi Minh.
The 2020 Thailand King’s Cup National Junior Champion in singles, Hanchaikul also was a member of the team championship at the 2019 Thailand Junior National Games. He was selected to the main draw of the Junior Australian Open and ranked as high as No. 61 in the Junior ITF.
Hanchaikul attended Shrewsbury International School, receiving Team Shrewsbury athletic recognition. He is interested in studying engineering while at Michigan.
“Michigan is an overall great school with an excellent tennis program,” Hanchaikul said. “After speaking to the coaches and several alumni about the tennis program, I feel like Michigan has all of the support and guidance I need to take my tennis a step forward.
“I also feel like it is a good balance between tennis and academics. I really like the team spirit and culture that Michigan tennis shares, and I think it would be a great place for me to improve my qualities as a tennis player and also as a person.”
Zederbauer brings more international experience to the Wolverines. German born and raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador, he has competed in 18 countries including: Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, USA, Austria, Germany, Luxembourg, Malta, Tunisia and Israel. He won the Guayaquil ITF G4 Doubles in 2019 and the Dominican Republic ITF G5 Doubles in 2018. He was the runner-up in singles at the Ecuadorian National Open Tournament in 2020 and at the Dominican Republic ITF G5 in 2018. He was one of the top eight players to be invited to the 2020 Ballenita Open and also was in the singles draw of the Guayaquil Challenge in 2019 and 2020, and was in the doubles draw in 2020.
Zederbauer trains with his uncle Nicolás Lapentti, a former No. 6-ranked ATP player. Zederbauer previously trained with Andrés Gómez, the 1990 Roland Garros Champion, and Wolfgang Thiem in Vienna. He also is the nephew of Giovanna Laentti, another former ATP Tour player.
A graduate of Unidad Educativa Bilingüe Torremar, Zederbauer chose Michigan “because of the amazing tennis team and staff, the university’s athletic culture and the prestigious academics of University Michigan.”