Quigley Falls in SEC Coaches Indoor Finals

Jan. 17, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky men’s tennis junior Eric Quigley could not fight off the tough play of Georgia’s Wil Spencer, falling 2-6, 6-4, 6-7 (1) in the finals of the Southeastern Conference Coaches Indoor Championships on Monday in Knoxville, Tenn.

“I think that Eric had a really good tournament,” associate head coach Cedric Kauffmann said. “He didn’t get the results that he wanted today in the finals, but he was three or four points away from winning. It was that close.”

Quigley’s appearance in the finals was the first for the Wildcats since four-time All-American Jesse Witten lost in the singles final in 2002. Although falling in the finals, Quigley’s run to the title match was impressive, winning four matches against quality players. All four wins were in straight sets.

Quigley, the overall No. 1 seed in the tournament, started with a win over Campbell Johnson of LSU in the second round and followed with a victory over ninth-seeded Jonas Lutjen of Ole Miss. In the quarterfinals, Quigley took down No. 47 Sadio Doumbia of Georgia in the quarterfinals and then defeated the former No. 1 player in the country in JP Smith of Tennessee to advance to the finals.

“I think that making it to the finals of an SEC event like this is something to be proud of,” Kauffmann said. “This is one of the best tournaments in the country against some of the best players in the country and Eric getting to the finals is an accomplishment in itself.”

In the finals match, Quigley and Spencer held serve for the first part of the match until Spencer broke Quigley to gain momentum and win the first set 6-2. In the second set, Quigley regained confidence in his serve, defeating Spencer 6-4 to force a decisive third set. In the third, both players went back and forth with Quigley holding serve to force a tiebreaker. Spencer would jump out to a big lead in the tiebreaker and hold on to claim the match.

“The loss is obviously not the result that I wanted,” Quigley said. “I had some mistakes here and there and I think that Wil played very well and took advantage. My serve was not strong for me in the first set but I adjusted and thought that I served well the rest of the match, especially in the third set.”

Kentucky freshman Grant Roberts also wrapped up his impressive run in the tournament’s back draw, advancing all the way to the consolation finals before falling in a tight match to LSU’s Sebastian Carlsson 6-2, 3-6, 1-0 (6).

“I was very proud of how Grant played this weekend,” Kauffmann said. “He really showed that he could play well in the SEC against some quality players. This tournament should really help his confidence as we move forward into dual-match play.”