TULSA, OKLA. – Georgy Batrakov advanced to the Round of 16 in the ITA All-American Championships Thursday, a feat that has not been accomplished since 2002.
“This is one of the biggest tournaments of the year,” BYU assistant tennis coach Zach Warren said. “For Georgy to be in sweet 16 is an incredible effort, especially since he had to go through the qualifying rounds to get to this point. What he has done says a lot about his fitness, his drive and it has been great for BYU.”
No. 91 Batrakov defeated Mississippi State’s Louis Cant in the first round of the main draw Thursday, 6-4, 7-6(7). The lone senior Cougar went on to top Kevin King of Georgia Tech in the second round, 6-3, 7-6(1).
Batrakov will face Alexis Klegou of Texas A&M at 11:00 a.m. CT Friday in the Round of 16.
“It was pretty cool for me to come to this kind of tournament and do my best and play with all the best players in college,” Batrakov said. “I’m playing for BYU so I’m playing my best. I want to win. My goal is to be an All-American.”
Competing in his first tournament of fall play, Batrakov advanced to the main draw after competing in the qualifying rounds Monday. Batrakov moves to 5-0 during fall play.
BYU's No. 53 Patrick Kawka kicked off his tournament debut in the main draw Thursday. Sophomore Kawka fought hard against Texas Tech’s Gonzalo Escobar in a three-set first-round match but was unable to overcome Escobar, 6-0, 2-6, 6-2.
Kawka went on to compete in the consolation bracket, winning his first round match against California’s Nick Andrews, 6-2, 6-4.
The 2011 Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year will compete in the second round against Ray Sarmiento of Southern California, Friday at 10:30 a.m. CT.
“I hope Georgy and Patrick keep it going and stay hungry,” BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. “I think Zach is doing a terrific job helping them advance. They’re playing tremendous tennis.”
For more information on the tournament and for tournament draws, click here.