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May 3, 2010
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Having just completed his second year as a student-assistant coach for the USC Upstate tennis teams, Julio Peralta continues to prove he is among the world's most elite players, himself, as the business administration major posted a 6-1, 6-4 upset of 301st-ranked Caitlin Gard of Hungary in the finals of the Country Club of Spartanburg Pro Tennis Invitational on Sunday.
For Peralta, who spent five years on the ATP Tour, achieving a ranking as high as 212th in the world before walking away due to injuries, it was his third singles championship since coming to Spartanburg in 2008. In the summer of 2009, Peralta won both the William H. Metzger Championship in Harrisburg, Pa., and the Tennessee Valley Open Championship in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Peralta won the final five games of the first set on Sunday and took a 4-1 lead in the second set before dropping the next two games. However, an ace with the first point of the next game stopped Gard's momentum and helped Peralta go on for the 6-4 win to claim the $5,000 prize for claiming first at the tournament.
This summer, Peralta will continue to play in pro tournaments in Europe before returning to Upstate for his third year as a student assistant coach to Alessandro De Marzo in 2010-11.