Oct. 8, 2009
TULSA, Okla. -
Kentucky tennis sophomore Eric Quigley registered the biggest upset of his young career Thursday afternoon by defeating the top-ranked player in the nation, Oleksandr Nedovyesov of Oklahoma State, in straight sets 7-5, 6-1 at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-American Championships inside the University of Tulsa's Case Tennis Center.
Playing in the first round of the singles main draw, No. 70 Quigley dominated No. 1 Nedovyesov late in the match by winning eight of the final nine games including a stretch of seven in a row to clinch the first set and go up 5-0 in the second. Quigley broke the Cowboy four times in the match while surrendering just one break. The draw does not get any easier for Quigley in the second round where he will face No. 27 Jordan Rux of Baylor Friday.
"It was certainly the best match I've ever seen Eric play," said UK men's tennis head coach Dennis Emery. "Over the last set and a half he won 26 of 28 points on his first serve which was a key factor in the match. It was a big win for him over a guy who has been ranked at No. 1 in the country a good portion of the last two seasons."
Nedovyesov earned his only break early against Quigley in the Wildcat's first service game to go up 1-0 in the first set. Both players held serve over the next four games before Quigley broke back to even the score at 3-3 and get back on serve. At 5-5 after four more holds of serve, Quigley held to go up 6-5 before scoring his second break of Nedovyesov to take the first set 7-5.
Quigley continued his momentum in the second, rattling off five straight game wins to open the set. Two more service breaks of Nedovyesov led the Pewee Valley, Ky., native to a decisive lead. The Cowboy held serve in game six to stop the Wildcat's streak at 5-1 but Quigley served out the match in the next game to clinch his monumental victory 6-1.
The match marked the second meeting between Quigley and Nedovyesov. Last fall the two met in the quarterfinals of the Charles Fluitt Invitational in Lexington with Nedovyesov coming out on top 6-4, 6-1. Last season Quigley topped three ranked players, recording his previous best win against Georgia's No. 23 Jamie Hunt at the 2008 ITA Southeast Regional last fall in Lexington.
The victory by Quigley chronicles the third consecutive season that a Wildcat player has knocked off the No. 1 player in the nation. Last year Bruno Agostinelli also defeated Nedovyesov in the semifinals of the Fluitt. In 2007 Agostinelli topped former No. 1 Steven Moneke of Ohio State in a regular season match in Columbus.
Through four matches - including three qualifying contests - at the All-American Championships this week, Quigley has defeated each opponent in straight sets and has only dropped 22 games total.
Earlier in the day, Quigley and doubles partner Brad Cox won their first round match in the doubles main draw.
The No. 24 Wildcat tandem knocked off Michigan's No. 27 duo of Jason Jung and George Navas 8-5 to advance to the second round Friday. In the round of 16, Quigley and Cox battle Boston College's Erik Kreutzer and Thomas Nolan. The Eagles topped the tourney's No. 6 seed 8-5 in their first round match.
Stay tuned all week to UKathletics.com for recaps of all Wildcat performances and the latest UK men's tennis news.
October 8, 2009
Tulsa, Okla. (Case Tennis Center)
ITA All-American Championships
Main Draw Singles - First Round
#70 Eric Quigley (UK) def. #1 Oleksandr Nedovyesov (OSU) 7-5, 6-1
Main Draw Doubles - First Round
#24 Eric Quigley / Brad Cox (UK) def. #27 Jason Jung / George Navas (UM) 8-5