TULSA, OKLA. – The BYU men’s tennis team continued to showcase its talent Tuesday as two players advanced to the final qualifying round of singles and two doubles teams reached the final day of qualifying rounds at the ITA All-American Championships.
“The All-American tournament is similar to a grand slam event for college tennis,” said BYU men’s tennis coach Brad Pearce. “To have this many of our players go this deep and have the opportunity to get into the main draw is a great thing for these players and for our program.”
Yale’s Marc Powers pushed No. 91 Georgy Batrakov to three sets in the second round of the qualifying rounds. After dropping the first set, senior Batrakov prevailed with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 comeback.
No. 117 Spencer Smith edged out Denis Lin of Stanford in his second round matchup. Junior Smith closed out each set in a tiebreaker, 7-6(5), 7-6(5), to stay undefeated in singles in fall play, with a 6-0 record.
Batrakov will see Mississippi’s Chris Thiemann for his third round competition Wednesday. Smith will face Guillermo Alcorta of Oklahoma, Wednesday, in his third-round match.
The winner of each third-round showdown will advance into the main draw Thursday.
No. 53 Patrick Kawka, the 2011 Mountain West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year, will begin competition in the main draw for the Cougars.
Doubles action was just as successful for BYU, Tuesday, as both teams competing for the Cougars advanced to the final day of qualifying rounds.
Batrakov and sophomore Kawka recorded two 8-5 victories in the first and second rounds of the qualifying rounds, defeating Tennessee’s Jarryd Chaplin and Edward Jones and No. 10 Alberto Bautista and Junior Ore of Texas A&M, respectively.
Smith and freshman Francis Sargeant received a first-round bye before going on to top Vanderbilt’s Gonzales Austin and Charlie Jones, 8-6.
The third round on Wednesday will feature Batrakov and Kawka squaring off against Mark DeCastro and Thai Tu of San Francisco. Smith and Sargeant will compete against Duke’s Raphael Hemmeler and Fred Saba.
The winner of each match will advance to the final round of the qualifying rounds Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.
The last 16 singles spots and eight doubles spots in the main draw are on the line during Wednesday’s play. The main draw will feature 64 of the top singles players and 32 doubles teams vying for the titles.
“There are three major events in college tennis,” Pearce said. “The NCAA Championships, the National Indoor Event and the All-American Championships. This is unprecedented for our team to have our players advancing as far as they are.”
For more information on the tournament and for tournament draws, click here.