Quigley, Musialek Advance to NCAA Singles Second Round

May 25, 2011

STANFORD, Calif. -- University of Kentucky men’s tennis juniors No. 6 Eric Quigley and No. 53 Alex Musialek advanced to the second round of the NCAA Singles Championship after each earned an impressive opening round win Wednesday at the Taube Tennis Center in Stanford, Calif. Quigley’s win was his 45th singles win this season, tying the school record for singles wins in a season.

The second round of the NCAA Singles Championships resumes Thursday at 1 p.m. ET. Times for the singles second round have not been released. A round of singles competition will be played each day until the NCAA Singles final on May 30. The doubles event begins Thursday afternoon and will continue with a round of play each day until the final on May 30. Times for doubles are not expected to be set until late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.

“A very good start to the tournament for both Eric and Alex,” UK head coach Dennis Emery said. “I thought that both players did a good job of playing through the rain delays. That is not always easy to do, especially at NCAAs, but our guys handled it well and stayed focused.”

Quigley took down No. 72 Mehdi Bouras in the first round to advance in the championship. Both players had their serve working in the first set with Quigley and Bouras holding serve each game to force a first-set tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker, Quigley won the first point before Bouras would respond to tie it 1-1. With the tiebreaker tied 2-2, Quigley would earn five consecutive points to grab a 7-2 win and claim the opening set.

In the second set, Quigley would build on the momentum he gained from winning the first set, breaking Bouras twice to take a commanding 4-0 lead. After each player held serve to make it 5-1 Quigley, rain moved into the area causing two rain delays. Bouras would come out of the first, smaller rain delay to hold serve and cut Quigley’s lead to 5-2, before more rain moved into the area to force an hour-plus delay. Quigley would come out of the second rain delay and hold serve to claim the second set and the match 7-6 (2), 6-2.

"Rain delays are always tough, but it's tough on both players, especially since I was pretty close to finishing,” Quigley said. “But it's just part of it. I'm excited to get through the first match because he's a tough player. I played pretty well today and I think it helped me getting to play some here on these courts during the round of 16 and quarterfinals. I was really pleased with my play today, and it was a good first round."
 
The win moved Quigley to 45 singles wins this season, tying the school record for singles wins in a season. Joe Leytze, who played at UK from 1980-83, holds the record with Quigley with his 45 wins during the 1982 season.

The native of Pewee Valley, Ky., will play a familiar foe in the second round Thursday in No. 36 Marcel Thiemann of Ole Miss. Quigley and Thiemann met once already this season with Quigley taking down the Ole Miss junior in straight sets in a UK dual-match win in Oxford, Miss. The two quality players also met last season in the NCAA Singles Championship round of 16, with Thiemann coming away with a tightly contested three-set win. Thiemann advanced to the second round with a 7-6 (4), 6-1 win over No. 42 Chris Kearney of UC Irvine.

“Really good start to the tournament for Quigley,” Emery said. “He played a very tight first set and once he won in the tiebreaker, I think it really relaxed him and he found his groove. He started the second set strong and was able to get some separation from Bouras to win the match. He now plays a guy that beat him last year in the round of 16 of this event, so hopefully he can get some revenge from that loss.”

Musialek’s match was the opposite of Quigley’s win with the UK junior dominating No. 35 Ed Corrie of Texas in the first set 6-1 behind three breaks. In the second set, both players held serve to tie the match at 2-2 before Corrie broke Muisalek for the first and only time all day and then held serve to go up 4-2. After a long rain delay, Musialek came back on court and performed well, holding serve and then breaking Corrie to tie the set 4-4. Both players then held serve the rest of the set to force a tiebreaker with Corrie going up 4-2 in the breaker. The Kentucky junior would fight back, winning five consecutive points to win the tiebreaker and claim the match 6-1, 7-6 (4).  

“Musialek played a great first set, getting on top of the guy early and was able to keep going,” Emery said. “In the second set he fell behind an early break but was able to regroup after the rain delay and come back strong. Even though he fell behind in the tiebreaker he was able to come back from that and get the win. It is a great start for him because Corrie is a very talented player.”

The win is the first of Musialek’s career in the NCAA Singles Championship after losing in the opening round of the event last season. The native of Dax, France, advances to play No. 16 Austen Childs of Louisville in the second round Thursday. Musialek and Childs have never faced each other in college. Childs, who was a NCAA Singles Finalist last season, defeated No. 18 Wil Spencer of Georgia 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the first round Wednesday.

Quigley and Musialek each earned one of 48 at-large bids to participate in the singles tournament, while Quigley and Cox will team up as doubles partners after earning one of 19 at-large bids to take part in the doubles tournament.

No. 19 senior Cox and Quigley, UK’s lone doubles duo in the event, will face No. 3 Bradley Klahn and Ryan Thacher of Stanford in the opening round of doubles Thursday. Klahn, who won the NCAA Singles Championship last year, and Thacher are seeded No. 5-8 in the event. Last year, Klahn and Thacher advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Doubles Championship, while Quigley and Cox made it to the quarterfinals.

Cox and Quigley have been ranked in the doubles rankings nearly all season. The tandem has achieved a 20-18 mark this season, including six wins over top-45 ranked tandems in the team’s last 11 matches.

For more information on the Kentucky men’s tennis team, visit UKathletics.com or follow “University of Kentucky men’s tennis team” on Facebook.

NCAA Singles Championship Results/Schedule
First Round
No. 6 Eric Quigley (7), KENTUCKY, d. No. 72 Mehdi Bouras, UNLV, 7-6 (2), 6-2
No. 53 Alex Musialek, KENTUCKY, d. No. 35 Ed Corrie, TEXAS, 6-1, 7-6 (4)

Second Round
No. 6 Eric Quigley (7), KENTUCKY, vs. No. 36 Marcel Thiemann, MISSISSIPPI – 1 p.m. ET
No. 53 Alex Musialek, KENTUCKY, vs. No. 16 Austen Childs, LOUISVILLE – 1 p.m. ET

NCAA Doubles Championship Results/Schedule
First Round
No. 19 Eric Quigley/Brad Cox, KENTUCKY vs. No. 3 Bradley Klahn/Ryan Thacher, STANFORD - 6 p.m. ET