Men's Tennis Wraps up Opening Rounds of SEC Coaches Invite

Jan. 14, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 12 University of Kentucky men’s tennis team had an impressive first day at the Southeastern Conference Coaches Indoor Tennis Championship, getting several wins in singles and doubles on the tournament’s opening day in Knoxville, Tenn.

“We felt that we had a very good day in singles today and we were just very pleased with that,” head coach Dennis Emery said. “Our doubles was not what we had hoped for but the guys bounced back and played very well in singles.

In singles, three Wildcats, No. 2 Eric Quigley, No. 39 Alex Musialek and No. 72 Alberto Gonzalez were not in action due to receiving byes in the opening round. However, UK posted three singles wins in the first round, getting victories from freshman Grant Roberts, sophomore Anthony Rossi and senior Brad Cox.

Roberts started UK’s singles action with a win over Bryan Swartz of Tennessee 6-0, 6-1, while Rossi defeated a solid player for Mississippi State in Antonio Lastre 7-6, 6-7, 6-0. Roberts advances to face No. 8-seed Sadio Doumbia of Georgia in the second round. Rossi will face sixth-seeded Matteo Fago of Tennessee in the second round.

One of the most impressive singles wins of the day for UK came from Cox, who posted a straight-sets victory over a solid player from LSU in Sebastian Carlsson. The match started with Cox and Carlsson going back and forth before Cox was able to pull out a win in the tiebreaker and take the first set 7-6. The Duluth, Ga., native then rode momentum into the second set to take down Carlsson 6-1 and claim the match 7-6, 6-1. Cox advances to play No. 2-seeded Alexandre Lacroix of Florida on Saturday afternoon in the second round.

“Brad Cox had a very good win over one of LSU’s top players,” Emery said. “Brad played a very good match and that was good to see. He served very well in the second set and really controlled things. Anthony Rossi also got it together today and played great in the third set after a rough start. Grant Roberts played well today too and it was good to see him pick up his first win of the spring.”

Freshmen Ryuji Hirooka and Maks Gold fell in the opening round of the singles main draw. Hirooka was defeated in straight sets by Billy Federhofer of Florida 6-2, 6-3, while Gold lost to Andrew Butz of Florida 7-6, 6-2.

“Our goal with this tournament was to get some great results toward NCAA selections for our top players and for our freshman to get some experience before the dual-match season,” Emery said.  “I think that we accomplished that today. We have some good matchups tomorrow in main draw and consolation so it is going to be an exciting weekend.”

UK performed well in doubles action paced by Hirooka/Roberts, who won two matches to advance to the quarterfinals. The UK duo started the day with a victory over Taylor Patrick and Bryan Swartz of Tennessee 8-5 before taking down Mississippi State’s tandem of Max Gregor and Antonio Lastre 8-5. Hirooka/Roberts now advance to play the No. 3-seeded Sadio Doumbia and Ignacio Taboada of Georgia, who are ranked No. 23 in the country. The match is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon after 5:30 p.m. ET.

Two other UK doubles teams advanced past the first round Friday but fell in the second round in closely contested matches. Junior Eric Quigley and Cox posted a 9-7 win over Georgia’s Garrett Brasseaux and Campbell Johnson before falling 8-6 to Artem Ilyushin and Tanner Stump of Mississippi State. UK’s duo of Rossi and junior Alex Musialek received a bye in the first round later falling to Javier Garrapiz and Hernius Pieters of Georgia 8-5 in the second round. Senior Alberto Gonzalez and Gold lost their opening round match 8-4 to Johan Bakstrom and Adrian Forberg of Ole Miss.

Play will resume Saturday with the singles main draw second and third round and the doubles quarterfinals.

Saturday:
Main Draw Doubles: Quarterfinals
Main Draw Singles: Round of 32
Main Draw Singles: Round of 16

Sunday:
Consolation Doubles: Round 2
Main Draw Doubles: Semifinals
Main Draw Singles: Quarterfinals
Main Draw Singles: Semifinals

Monday:
Final Singles: 10 a.m.
Final Doubles to follow, not before 11:30 a.m.