July 27, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Former University of Kentucky men’s tennis star Eric Quigley began his professional playing career this week by winning his first singles match as a professional player at the Fifth Third Bank Tennis Championship Lexington Challenger at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex.
Quigley, who earned a wild card selection into the event, started the tournament by defeating Riccardo Ghedin of Italy in straight sets 6-3, 6-2. The win was the first of Quigley’s short professional career. Ghedin entered the tournament ranked 329th nationally by the ATP World Tour.
The UK star would then bow out of the tournament in the second round when he fell to American Michael McClune. Quigley won a thrilling first set against McClune in a tiebreaker 7-6 (3), before McClune bounced back to win the second set 6-3 and third set 6-4. McClune entered the tournament ranked 355th on the ATP World Tour. Quigley is ranked 1,724th by the ATP.
Quigley ended the 2012 season ranked third in the nation in singles by the ITA and eighth overall in doubles with sophomore Panav Jha. The No. 3 final ranking in singles was the highest for a UK player since All-American Jesse Witten finished third at the end of the 2005 season. Quigley became a five-time All-American this season, earning honors in both singles and doubles to become the second player in school history to receive five All-American honors.
Quigley had a fantastic senior season for Kentucky, posting a 54-8 record in singles action, including a 26-2 mark in dual matches. The native of Pewee Valley, Ky., concluded his career in style by earning a runner-up finish at the 2012 NCAA Singles Championship, becoming only the third player in school history to advance to the singles final. Quigley’s win total in 2012 was the highest in school history while he ends his UK career with a 172-47 record to become the winnningest singles player in school history. Quigley, who won 38 matches against ranked foes in 2011-12, earned countless awards this season, including Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and the ITA Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship Award.
Quigley, who was the first UK player to ever be named an ITA Collegiate All-Star, is expected to earn several more wild card spots in challenger events this summer as he looks to continue his professional career.
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