Fifth-Seeded Agostinelli Plays NCAA First Round Match on Opponent's Home Court
May 19, 2009
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Kentucky men's tennis senior Bruno Agostinelli, the fifth seed at this year's 2009 NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Championships, learned he will play essentially a road match in the first round when he lines up across the net from sophomore Will Spencer of host Texas A&M University at the Aggies' Mitchell Tennis Center Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Agostinelli reached the No. 2 spot nationally in early March in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings. During UK's final home stand of the regular season last month, Agostinelli earned his 100th career singles victory. He carries a 34-13 singles record this year including a win last fall over then-No.1 Oleksandr Nedovyesov of Oklahoma State. Additionally, Agostinelli tallied four straight wins against 2008 NCAA Singles Finalist John-Patrick Smith of Tennessee this season. The Niagara Falls, Canada, native is only the second Wildcat all-time to win All-SEC honors all four seasons at UK.
Agostinelli and Spencer have never met on the court in collegiate competition. Spencer is ranked 48th in the country in singles with his biggest win over current No. 14 Dominic Inglot of Virginia last fall. The Aggie ran up a 24-11 record overall this season primarily at the No. 3 spot for A&M.
Should Agostinelli advance in singles, he would face either Middle Tennessee junior Robert McKenzie or New Mexico senior Johnny Parkes in the round of 32. Parkes stands at No. 77 in the latest ITA rankings while McKenzie occupies the No. 89 slot. Agostinelli has not faced either potential opponent.
Agostinelli is in the bottom portion of the top half of the 64-man draw with potential round of 16 opponent No. 9-16 seed Guillermo Gomez of Georgia Tech as well as No. 4 seed Denes Lukacs of Baylor, a potential quarterfinal opponent. Agostinelli is familiar with both seeds battling Gomez and Lukacs once apiece last fall.
The 2009 Southeast Region ITA senior player of the Year battled 21 other NCAA selections 28 times this season while recording an admirable 15-13 record. Nine of those victories and 10 of those losses were against gentlemen seeded in the top 16 in this year's tournament.
Doubles play begins on Thursday with match times to be determined. Agostinelli and partner sophomore Brad Cox rank 22nd in the nation in the latest doubles rankings. As a tandem, the Cats stand at 19-15 overall this season.
Cox could be the first Wildcat to advance to the NCAA Doubles Championships all four years should he find continued success. Last season, he was the first UK rookie to participate in the Doubles Championships.
The Wildcats should have vivid memories of their first round opponents - No. 5-8 seed Cory Parr and Steve Forman of Wake Forest. The last time the UK duo was in action on the court they fell to the Demon Deacons 8-3 in the second round of the NCAA Team Championships two weeks ago in Lexington.
Should the Cats advance in the doubles bracket, the pair would face the Oklahoma State tandem of Nathan Byrnes and Nedovyesov or the Florida State duo of Jean-Yves Aubone and Vahid Mirzadeh. Agostinelli and Cox are in the bottom portion of the lower half of the 32-team draw with the No. 4 duo of Jamie Hunt and Nate Schnugg from Georgia and the No. 2 Tennessee tandem of Davey Sandgren and John-Patrick Smith.
The UK pair faced 12 NCAA doubles team selections 14 times this year including two wins over the top-seeded team of Berg and tenBerge of Ole Miss.
Links for live updates and video of the 2009 NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships can be found at the men's tennis page on UKathletics.com.
Stay tuned to UKathletics.com for a recap of each Wildcat match from the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships.