TULSA, Okla. – Nine of the top 16 seeds lost in the first two rounds of the D’Novo/ITA Men's All-American Championships at the University of Tulsa's Michael D. Case Tennis Center. Even with the All-American championship having expanded the main draw from 32 participants to 64 this year, the number of upsets nearly reciprocated from last year with four of the top eight seeds falling on the first day of play. This event is the first of three national championship events played during the 2008-09 collegiate tennis season.
Denes Lukacs of Baylor was the tournament’s highest-ranked seed to be eliminated, as the No. 2 seed fell to Virginia’s Michael Shabaz in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4. Third-seeded Daniel Vallverdu of Miami (FL) was one of two top-seeded players who did not make it out of the first round as he too lost in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3 to Fresno State’s Rudolph Siwy. Another notable top-ranked player who was eliminated today was 2008 NCAA finalist, J.P. Smith falling to Enrique Olivares of East Tennessee State by a score of 6-4, 7-6 . Smith entered the tournament as the No. 10 seed.
Coming into the championships, Ohio State had three athletes seeded among the top 11. Of those three, two have advanced to the third round of play as No. 8 Justin Kronauge and No. 11 Steven Moneke won both of today’s matches while ninth-seeded Bryan Koniecko fell to Blake Strode of Arkansas in the second round, 6-4, 6-3.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was Clint Bowles from Florida State. Bowles, who lost in the final round of qualifying as the No. 2 seed on Wednesday gained entry into the main draw as a lucky loser. In his first match of the day, he defeated Wake Forest’s Steven Foreman, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 as well as turning in one of the bigger upsets of the first two rounds with a 6-3, 6-3 straight set victory over seventh-seeded Dimitar Kutrovsky of Texas. Bowles now faces a fellow upstart participant in Olivares in the tomorrow’s third round.
In doubles action, of the top eight-seeded teams, only the No. 3 Texas duo of Ed Corrie and Kellen Damico were defeated in the first round of play, losing to Bruno Agostinelli and Brad Cox of Kentucky. The tournament’s No. 1 doubles team, Vallverdu and Carl Sundberg of Miami defeated the No. 1 seeded singles player, Oleksandr Nedovyesov and his partner Nathan Byrnes, 8-6. Nedovyesov survived his first-round singles match after Agostinelli retired in the third set.
Play resumes Friday with round of 16 matches in singles starting at 9 am CT, followed by two rounds of doubles.
For complete results and event information, visit www.itatennis.com.