Qualifiers survive, seeds drop Thursday at the Saint Francis ITA Men's All-American Championships
TULSA, OK (Oct. 3) - Main draw action got underway Thursday at the 2013 Saint Francis ITA Men's All-American Championships in Tulsa with the opening two rounds of singles and first-round doubles action.
|Top seed Mikelis Libietis of Tennessee was upset in the second round by freshman George Goldhoff of Texas.|
After a full day of play, just four of 16 seeds remain, while five qualifiers kept their bids alive.
Top seed Mikelis Libietis of Tennessee, who was struggling with illness, was made to work hard for his first round win over UCLA's Dennis Mkrtchian, but he advanced with a 6-4 4-6 6-4 win. However, qualifier George Goldhoff of Texas pulled off the big upset in second round play with a 6-3 6-7 (4) 6-3 victory over the preseason number one.
Goldhoff, who is ranked #8 in the ITA freshman preseason rankings, said he was playing without pressure in his first college tournament after competing in the juniors for four years..
"I had a pretty good day for my first college tournament," he said, "it feels good to beat the #1 player in the nation." On his win against top seed Libietis, Goldhoff said he knew the Vols player wasn't feeling well, but he said he took advantage of his opportunities. The Longhorn next plays Dane Webb of Oklahoma in the round of 16.
Second seed Peter Kobelt of Ohio State lost his opening match to qualifier Jonny Wang of USC 4-6 7-6 (4) 6-3, while third seed Ryan Lipman of Vanderbilt University was forced to retire from his match with a hip injury as he trailed 7-5 4-3 to qualifier Michael Grant of USC.
The highest seed to advance to Friday's main draw singles action was #7 seed Ray Sarmiento of USC. The Trojan started the day with a three-set win over Texas A&M's Shane Vinsant and followed that up with a 7-5, 6-0 win over Axel Alvarez of Oklahoma. Sarmiento will next face senior Jared Hiltzik of Illinois.
|Virginia's Mitchell Frank (12) was one of only four seeds to win on Thursday.|
An early match of intrigue was #12 seed Mitchell Frank of Virginia against UCLA freshman (and preseason #1
ranked freshman) Mackenzie McDonald. The Bruin got off to a big 4-0 lead in the first set but was unable to close it out from 5-2 up as Frank fought back to 5-5. But Mackenzie raced through the tiebreak 7-1 to take the first set. From there, Frank regained the momentum and comfortably took the next two sets and the match 7-6 (1) 6-1 6-2.
Freshman Ronnie Schneider, the #5 preseason ranked freshman, took out Ben McLachlan of California 6-4 7-6 (4) and 15th seed Ben Wagland of Georgia to advance to the round of 16. Schneider won the first eight games of the match but Wagland took the next five before forcing a third set, which Schneider won for a 6-0 3-6 6-3 victory.
Main draw doubles action also got underway on Thursday, and top seeded Tennessee duo Libietis and Hunter Reese got through their first round match against qualifiers Nick Horton and Sean Weber of NC State 8-6, while second seeds Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland of Georgia were ousted by Duke'sRaphael Hemmeler and Bruno Semenzato 8-4 to advance to the second round.
Friday's action features main draw singles third round, main draw doubles second and third round plus consolation singles and doubles. Consolation singles action begins at 9am, with third round singles action at 10:30am and doubles at 12:30pm.
For complete coverage of the 2013 Saint Francis ITA Men's All-American Championships, including access to updated draws and scores, please visit our tournament area on ITAtennis.com. Follow the ITA on Twitter, @ITAtennis, for updates and news from Tulsa (search for the hashtag #TulsaITA) or like us on Facebook to see photos.