Duke’s Cunha Survives Second Round Scare on Day One of the ITA All-American Championships
Only five of the 16 seeded players remain after First Round play
TULSA, OK (Oct. 4) – With two rounds of singles play in the books, only five seeded players remain in the main draw at the 2012 ITA Men’s All-American Championships. In fact, of the top five top seeds, only Henrique Cunha of Duke University advanced to the round of 16.
Cunha breezed through his first round match with a convincing 6-1, 6-2 win over Tennessee’s Hunter Reese. The Duke senior seemed to carry the momentum from his first round victory into his next match as he claimed the first set at 6-1 and went up 5-2 in the second against Chris Diaz, a pre-qualifier from Ohio State. Then things got interesting for the four-time ITA All-American.
“I lost my focus a little bit in the second set” said Cunha. “I was a little negative which I think gave him some confidence.” With the shift of momentum, Diaz would rally to win five straight games, taking the second set at 7-5.
However, the third set would be a mirror image of the first as Cunha dominated once again by opening the court with his forehand and pressuring Diaz by crowding the net. “I just tried to keep my composure because I knew if I played my game then I’d be fine” said Cunha, who went on to win 6-1, 5-7, 6-1.
After battling his way through the qualifying rounds, University of Virginia freshman Mac Styslinger made a name for himself by reaching the round of 16. The freshman won his opening round match in straight sets before upsetting teammate, doubles partner and second seed Jarmere Jenkins 6-1, 6-4 in the second round.
“I was in a little bit of shock after the match but it still feels pretty good to be in the round of 16” said Styslinger. “But it was definitely tough [to play Jarmere] which makes it a little bitter sweet to be honest but still, it was a good win.”
Another qualifier, Roberto Quiroz of the University of Southern California also advanced to the round of 16 in the singles draw. The tall lefty shocked third seeded Evan King from the University of Michigan in straight sets in the first round, 6-2, 6-4.
“I’ve been working really hard and I just wanted to fight with all my heart and fight my best” said Quiroz, who went on to pull out a grueling three setter against Georgia Tech’s Juan Spir in the second round, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3. Following the win, a very humble Quiroz said “I’m really happy with this win and I’m glad and happy to be here.”
In doubles action, Clemson’s Dominique Maden and Yannick Maden pulled off the upset as they downed top seeded Jonas Lutjen and Nik Scholtz of the University of Mississippi, 8-4. Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp of Mississippi State also took down a top four seeded team as they edged Tennessee’s John Collins and Hunter Reese, 8-5.
Play will resume on Friday, October 5th at 9:00 CDT with consolation singles action.