Pavel and Cronje Earn Automatic Bids to NCAA Doubles Championship

NCAA Release

ORLANDO – The senior tandem of Bogdan Pavel and Lleyton Cronje have earned themselves an automatic bid to the NCAA Division 1 Men's Doubles Championships later this month. Hosted at USTA National Campus, the Knights home facility, the senior duo secure their ticket by being the highest ranked doubles pairing in the American Athletic Conference at 33. The competition will coincide with the singles tournament from May 22-27.

For Pavel, it has been an impressive finale to his storied career at UCF. The Romanian clinched the all-time doubles record earlier this season at SMU with his 64th win, and since has only gotten stronger alongside Cronje. That next week, the tandem pulled off their two best wins of the campaign, with victoried over two top-10 pairings. Against the seventh-ranked Ohio State duo of Andrew Lutschaunig and James Trotter, Pavel and Cronje took a commanding 6-3 victory to give the Knights court one against the No. 4 Buckeyes. Days later, they replicated the 6-3 scoreline with yet another convincing triumph, this time against No. 3 Texas's Eliot Spizzirri and Cleeve Harper, the third-ranked duo in the nation.

Following a 2022 dual match season in which Pavel and Cronje played the first 12 matches together on court one, going 6-3 with multiple key victories, the Romania and South Africa natives have truly found their chemistry leading the Knights in doubles. Entering the tournament, the duo are 11-7, with three wins from their last four.

It will be the first ever appearance in the Doubles Championships for Cronje, who competed in the singles portion in 2021 during his time at VCU. For Pavel, this will be his third outing in the tournament and first since his remarkable run to the Sweet 16 in 2021, including a victory in the first round against a No. 23 pairing from Alabama.

Pavel and Cronje's opponent has yet to be announced, along with the specific date and time of their first-round matchup. The tournament will begin following the conclusion of the 2023 NCAA D1 Men's Tennis Championship from May 18-20 at the USTA National Campus.