Cronje and Giamichelle Crowned Doubles Champions at ITA Southeast Regionals

by Alex Clough

ATLANTA – Playing for just the second time as a doubles pairing, Lleyton Cronje and Santiago Giamichelle dominated the field at the ITA Southeast Regionals in Atlanta, securing the title to advance to the ITA National Fall Championships in San Diego.

Lleyton and Santiago playing only their second time together showed how skilled a team they are and I thought assistant coach Kareem Allaf did an amazing job with the on-court coaching throughout the tournament. He really helped them and was pivotal in them winning the doubles title.

Lloyd Bruce-Burgess

Following the departure of Bogdan Pavel after the spring season, Cronje and Giamichelle, who joined the Knights following his freshman season at UT Arlington, showed an instant connection together. The tandem started their weekend with two victories against in-state opposition, defeating a duo from Stetson, 8-4, before a tight victory against No. 3 Antonio Prat and Adrien Burdet of Miami, 8-7 (4). On Saturday, they secured their spot in the semifinals with a convincing win over Georgia’s Ryan Colby and Niels Ratiu, 8-4.

On Sunday, doubles matches transitioned into three sets as the four remaining duos looked to clinch a berth in the National Fall Championships in November. Cronje and Giamichelle’s semifinal opponent served as a familiar sight, as South Florida’s Erik Grevelius and Alvin Tudorica secured convincing wins against tandems from Georgia Tech and Florida State en route to their meeting with Cronje, who along with Pavel defeated them in the AAC Quarterfinals in the spring. The South African got the best of the Bulls pairing once again with a straight set, 6-4, 6-3, victory.

Hosts Georgia Tech’s Gabriele Brancatelli and Richard Biagiotti made easy work of their opposition in their quest for the doubles crown. However, the final proved too much for the Yellow Jackets tandem, as Cronje and Giamichelle dominated throughout, securing a straight-set, 6-2, 6-0, victory. While a spot in the finals already clinched their ticket to San Diego in November, the Knights duo prevailed to give head coach Lloyd Bruce-Burgess and UCF its first piece of ITA silverware in the Big 12.

Six other Knights were in action this weekend, as the entire squad performed strongly. Mehdi Benchakroun shined in singles as the Moroccan advanced to the singles quarterfinals following triumphs over No. 2 Aidan Kim (Florida), No. 11 Loris Pourroy (Florida State) and Rohan Sachdev (Georgia Tech).


I was really happy with how the guys competed in this tournament. Mehdi had a great weekend and beat some high-level players; it was great to see him take some steps in the right direction on the court and see his hard work paying off.

For the full results of this weekend’s ITA Southeast Regionals, click here.



Emilio Sanchez (UCF) def. Robert Bauer (Georgia Tech): 3-6, 7-5(5), 10-8

Paul Colin (UCF) def. Augustin Miramontes (Kennesaw State): 6-2, 6-1

Luca Hotze (UCF) def. Hugo Salmeron (Kennesaw State): 6-1, RET (inj)

Francisco Llanes (UCF) def. Meceau Fouilhoux (Mercer): 6-1, 6-4

Gabriele Datei (Georgia State) def. Emilio Sanchez (UCF): 6-1, 6-2

Paul Colin (UCF) def. Elias Shokry (Georgia Tech): 6-7(7), 7-6(3), 10-6

Luca Hotze (UCF) def. Bruno Vietri (North Florida): 6-3, 2-6, 10-8

Francisco Llanes (UCF) def. Ben Hudson (South Florida): 6-2, 6-2

Nemanja Stefanovic (Mercer) def. Yassine Dlimi (UCF): 0-6, 2-1 (inj.)

Paul Colin (UCF) def. Marc Saura (Stetson): 6-2, 6-2

Aleksander Orlikowski (Florida) def. Santiago Giamichelle (UCF): 2-6, 6-3, 6-2)

Nacho Serra Sanchez (Miami) def. Francisco Llanes (UCF): 7-6(10), 6-2

Lleyton Cronje (UCF) def. Juan Jose Rodriguez Garceran (Stetson): 6-2, 6-3

Jamie Connel (Florida State) def. Luca Hotze (UCF): 6-1, 6-2

Mehdi Benchakroun (UCF) def. Rohan Sachdev (Georgia Tech): 7-5, 6-3

Jeremy Jin (Florida) def. Paul Colin (UCF): 6-1, 6-2

Baran Soyler (Georgia State) def. Lleyton Cronje (UCF): 6-4, 6-4

Mehdi Benchakroun (UCF) def. Loris Pourroy (Florida State): 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5)

Mehdi Benchakroun (UCF) def. Aidan Kim (Florida): 6-4, 6-1

Alvin Tudorica (South Florida) def. Mehdi Benchakorun (UCF): 6-3, 6-4

Filipe Costa (Georgia) def. Luca Hotze (UCF): 6-3, 1-6, 10-1

Emilio Sanchez (UCF) def. Marceau (Mercer): 1-6, 6-1, 10-3


Augustin Miramontes/Anthony Weingarten (Kennesaw State) def. Luca Hotze/Emlio Sanchez (UCF): 8-6

Robert Bauer/Rohan Sachdev (Georgia Tech) def. Luca Hotze/Emilio Sanchez (UCF): 8-3

Juan Jose Rodriguez Garceran/Marc Saura (Stetson) def. Francisco Llanes/Paul Colin (UCF): 8-1

Yassine Dlimi/Mehdi Benchakroun (UCF) def. Breno Marques/Andreas Scott (North Florida): 8-6

Lleyton Cronje/Santigao Giamichelle (UCF) def. Riccardo Baldi/Lucas Olivier (Stetson): 8-4

Francisco Llanes/Emilio Sanchez (UCF) def. Filipe Costa/Miguel Perez Puna (Georgia): 6-4

Gabriele Brancatelli/Richard Biagiotti (Georgia Tech) def. Yassine Dlimi/Mehdi Benchakroun (UCF): 8-1

Lleyton Cronje/Santiago Giamichelle (UCF) def. Antonio Prat/Adrien Burdet (Miami): 8-7(4)

Lleyton Cronje/Santiago Giamichelle (UCF) def. Ryan Colby/Niels Ratiu (Georgia): 8-7(5)

Lleyton Cronje/Santiago Giamichelle (UCF) def. Erik Grevekius/Alvin Tudorica (South Florida): 6-4, 6-3

Lleyton Cronje/Santiago Giamichelle (UCF) def. Gabrielle Brancatelli/Richard Biagiotti (Georgia Tech): 6-2, 6-0



10/2/22 - Erik Schiessl (Oklahoma State) def. Lleyton Cronje (UCF): 7-6(3), 6-3

10/2/22 - Yassine Dlimi (UCF) def. Max McKennon (Arizona State): 6-1, 6-3

10/3/22 - Lodewijk Weststrate (Souther California) def. Yassin Dlimi (UCF): 6-0, 4-6, 6-1

10/3/22 - Lleyton Cronje (UCF) def. Edoardo Graziani (Virginia): 1-6, 6-3, 6-2