TULSA, Okla. - For the second straight year, the top seed at the D'Novo/ITA Men's All-American Championships was not able to advance past the tournament's first round. Taking to his home courts, Marcelo Arevalo of tournament host site Tulsa, dropped top-ranked and defending champion, J.P. Smith of Tennessee in straights, 7-5, 6-3, shaking up the event within the first few hours of play.
Last year, Kentucky's Eric Quigley stunned the college tennis world by knocking off the 2009 Campbell/ITA National Player of the Year and top seed, Oleksandr Nedovyesov of Oklahoma State as a qualifier.
Smith entered the tournament as a highly-regarded favorite due to the fact that last year he became only the third player in history and the first since 1998 to win both the singles and doubles titles at the ITA All-American Championships.
Smith, who finished the 2010 spring campaign ranked No. 2 in the Campbell/ITA Singles Rankings and No. 3 in the Campbell/ITA Doubles Rankings, moves up one spot to reclaim the top spot that he held for nearly half of last season, becoming the first Vol since Chris Woodruff in 1993 to achieve such a feat.
Arevalo went ahead of the defending champion 4-1 after an early break of service, but Smith was able to break back and tie the match at 4-all. Both players held serve, and Arevalo was able to break Smith at 6-5 to take the opening set 7-5. Arevalo once again broke Smith early in the second set and had a chance to serve for the match at 5-3. He went down 15-40, but collected himself and won four-straight massive points to take the match in straight sets.
Smith was not the only seeded player to be handed an early exit on day one. In fact, only half of the 16 seeded players will be playing for a chance at advancing to Saturday's quarter and semifinals. The eight seeded players to fall on day one is actually only one more higher than last year, which was presumed to be a great number of upsets.
In addition to Smith, the other top-ranked singles players on the wrong side of the upset included the 2009 ITA Intercollegiate Indoor Champion, Steve Johnson from USC, NCAA Doubles Champion, Michael Shabaz of Virginia, former US Open Wild Cards, Chase Buchanan from Ohio State and Austin Krajicek of Texas A&M, Georgia's Javier Garrapiz and Texas Tech's Raony Carvalho.
Making a splash in his D'Novo/ITA All-American debut was super-frosh Alex Domijian of Virginia who was ranked No. 1 in the inaugural Campbell/ITA Freshman Rankings.
After making quick work of Garrapiz by score of 6-2, 6-1 he followed up with another 6-2, 6-1 win later in the day, topping Daniel Nguyen of USC. Domijian, one of five Cavaliers in the singles main draw, plays second-seeded and former top-freshman last year, Henrique Cunha of Duke in the round of 16.
In doubles action, Cunha and teammate Reid Carleton, who is also making a sweet 16 appearance, including a win over 7th-ranked Steve Johnson, make up the No. 1 doubles team. The duo won the doubles consolation title last year but have their sights set on bigger and better things this year.
With only two seeded teams falling on the first day of play, there are some very competitive matchups to look forward to.
The tournament, hosted by the University of Tulsa at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center, kicked off on Saturday, October 3 with six rounds of prequalifying and qualifying singles and doubles leading up to today's main draw competition.
Play resumes Friday with quarterfinal singles matches beginning at 9 am CDT, followed by doubles in the afternoon.
For complete results and event information, visit www.itatennis.com.