Men's tennis were one of the success stories of Sunderland's Clash of the Minsters last week.

Men’s tennis were one of the success stories of Sunderland’s Clash of the Minsters last week.

The University of Sunderland men’s tennis 1sts captain Phil Rudd is hopeful of promotion this season as they prepare to begin their BUCS campaign.

After finishing third in the North 4B league last year, Sunderland will begin the season with a home tie against Hull 1sts at the Puma Tennis Centre on Wednesday.

Sunderland will be without last year’s star player Matt Wigham for the upcoming season but are still expected to name a strong side against Hull, with Rudd, Konstantinos Axelos, Paddy Horne and debutant Andrew Waddell all expected to play.

“Promotion is what we’re all looking for” said Rudd. “Last season we were pretty close to it so if we play some good tennis this year you never know.”

Rudd was also keen to take the positives from last week’s Clash of the Minsters victory over York St John, which Sunderland won by five matches to one.

“It was a good warm up game and allowed a lot of our players to get a bit of match fitness back after several months off,” said Rudd.

Sunderland’s captain also believes that Wednesday’s match is one his side “should realistically be winning,” after the Wearsiders beat Hull 4-2 on home turf last campaign.

Their season opener against Hull will begin at 1pm on Wednesday afternoon at Silksworth.