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Breakers add local:

Van’t Hof

TENNIS: Newport Beach team will call on a local resident, who stood out at USC, to help them in WTT campaign.

June 11, 2008|By Matt Szabo

Kaes Van’t Hof already calls Newport Beach home.

More specifically this summer, he will call Newport Beach Country Club home.

That’s where Van’t Hof will play his home matches for the Newport Beach Breakers this World Team Tennis season, the team announced Wednesday. The Breakers begin their season July 3 at Sacramento, with the first home match two days later against Kansas City.

The team needed to add Van’t Hof because Bruno Echagaray will not be playing as he recovers from back surgery. When Breakers Coach Trevor Kronemann heard that, he said Van’t Hof was the first person who came to his mind.

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“We’re really excited about having Kaes play for us,” Kronemann said. “Obviously, he’s a local talent. I think, for the community, having a local guy with Kaes’ talent is great to have out there.”

Kronemann, also the men’s tennis coach at UC Irvine, said he tried to recruit Van’t Hof when he was coaching at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He has known the family for some time; Kronemann and Van’t Hof’s father, Robert, used to play against each other in World Team Tennis. Kronemann played for Charlotte and Robert Van’t Hof played and later coached for Sacramento.

But, after graduating from Mater Dei High, Kaes decided to go to USC, where his father was the NCAA men’s singles champion in 1980. Kaes just finished off a similarly sparkling four-year career with the Trojans.

The two-year USC captain, 21, won the NCAA men’s Division I national championship in doubles with partner Robert Farah on May 26. It capped a year where Van’t Hof went 41-3 in doubles. He won his last 26 doubles matches of the year and also won the Pac-10 conference championship with Farah at the Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament in April.

Van’t Hof, also the Pac-10 champion in singles, advanced to the second round at the Division I finals after upsetting No. 2-seeded Greg Ouellette of the University of Florida in the first round.

Named an All-American in doubles, Van’t Hof said he looks forward to playing with the Breakers. On Newport Beach, he’ll be able to play doubles with Breakers mainstay Ramon Delgado.

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