Top Three Seeds Eliminated at 2011 ITA Men's All-American Championships
Oklahoma Sooners Go 8-0 on Opening Day of Main Draw
No. 1 seed Blaz Rola of Ohio State, 2010 tournament finalist Eric Quigley of Kentucky and 2011 singles and doubles ITA All-American Henrique Cunha of Duke were all defeated on Thursday at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.
Virginia junior Jarmere Jenkins won nine straight games from 2-3 down in the first set before ousting Rola 6-3, 6-1 in a second-round match.
“Three and one was what the score was, but I felt like most of the points were a dogfight,” said Jenkins. “I was really focused on every single point and that led to me winning a couple games, and eventually nine games in a row. I just kind of got lost and I ended up at 6-3, 5-0 (laughs).”
In a first-round match played earlier Thursday, Texas A&M senior Alexis Klegou overpowered Quigley with an impressive array of strong first serves and well-timed forehand winners.
After taking the first set in a tiebreak and breaking Quigley to start the second, Klegou held on for a 7-6(1), 6-3 win, despite letting a 40-Love lead slip away in the final game.
“I served very well and I knew that if I could hold my serve, I had a chance to break him,” said Klegou, who went on to defeat Sadio Doumbia of Georgia 6-4, 6-3 in the second round. “I felt warming up that it would be a good day.”
Klegou arrived in Tulsa one week ago with 10 teammates from College Station who were competing in the pre-qualifying and qualifying draws. His first singles match in Tulsa was well worth the wait.
“I’ve been here for a week; maybe that was too much (laughs),” said Klegou. “It was an advantage to be able to see the level of everybody here. In pre-qualies, everybody is fighting so hard, nobody gives up and it’s great tennis. So you feel like you have to play your best in those conditions.”
While the individual performances by Klegou and Jenkins were impressive, Thursday’s biggest winners came from the University of Oklahoma.
Five different Sooners combined to go 8-0 on the day, highlighted by Costin Paval’s 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 upset of the third-seeded Cunha in the second-round.
Paval is joined in the Round of 16 by teammates Peerakit Siributwong and Guillermo Alcorta. In doubles, the duos of Paval/Dane Webb and Siributwong/Tsvetan Mihov advanced to the second round.
Siributwong and Alcorta are two of five qualifiers still alive in the singles main draw, including BYU senior Georgy Batrakov, who outlasted Kevin King of Georgia Tech in over three hours to set up a showdown against Klegou.
“It may be easier for [qualifiers] because we’ve already been playing for three or four days,” said Batrakov, “but when it’s sunny and windy, and you’re playing against the best players in America, it’s pretty hard as well.”