Batrakov Makes it to the Final Four

(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

LAS -- Sophomore Georgy Batrakov continued to show his strength and determination at the ITA Mountain Region Championships, earning a place in the semifinal round of the tournament. He is the only Cougar left in the main draw after recording a big win Friday.

“This has been one of our most successful regional performances,” BYU coach Brad Pearce said. “It is a testament to the hard work the guys have put in this fall.”

Senior Cassidy Mears just missed the chance to face teammate Batrakov in the semifinals Saturday. Mears challenged Boise State’s Vicente Joli coming back from a set down to take the match to three. The players went back-and-forth, forcing a tiebreak before Joli eventually won out.

“Cassidy deserves a lot of credit,” Pearce said. “He battled back and my heart goes out to him.”

Batrakov, on the other hand, came out of his three-set battle with Denvers’ Yannick Weihs victorious. The sophomore won the first set 7-6, then dropped the second 6-7 before ending the match 6-4. He will face Joli in Saturday’s semifinal.

Two BYU pairs were featured in the doubles quarterfinals but both came up just short of the victory. Mears and Thomas Shubert and Spencer Smith and Evan Urbina lost 8-6 to end their respective runs in the tournament.

“I couldn’t be more pleased,” Pearce said. “The most exciting part is that the players are just going to keep getting better.”

Matches begin Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Darling Tennis Center in Las Vegas. For updated results, click here.