Alabama Men’s Tennis Enjoys Successful Start to Southern Regional Championships
Crimson Tide picks up seven wins on first day of play
NEW ORLEANS – The Alabama men's tennis team enjoyed a successful day, picking up seven wins at the 2009 Wilson/ITA Southern Regional Championships. The Crimson Tide won six singles matches and one doubles match on the day.
"We had some encouraging performances today and some ones where we could have fared better,” said head coach Billy Pate. “Ricky (Doverspike) and Saketh (Myneni) had a couple of good wins advancing in the main draw. Houssam (Yassine) and Creighton (Blanchard) had solid first round wins and both had chances in their second matches."
Alabama got off to a good start, winning two of three singles matches in the Round of 128. Sophomore Ricky Doverspike easily handled Tulane freshman Coby Kramer-Golinkoff 6-2, 6-0, while fellow sophomore Creighton Blanchard was able to dispatch junior Diego Machuca of Southern Mississippi in two tiebreak sets 7-6(1), 7-6(4). Redshirt freshman Michael Davis was the lone Tide player to drop his first round match, falling to senior Chris Doerr of Mississippi State 6-2, 6-2.
Seniors Saketh Myneni and Houssam Yassine both began their day in the Round of 64 after receiving byes in the opening round. Myneni, currently ranked No. 10 nationally, continued Alabama's success by picking up a 6-2, 6-1 win over Southern Mississippi's junior Oscar Machuca. Yassine also advanced comfortably, knocking off junior Lucas Viel of South Alabama 6-0, 6-2. Doverspike won his second match of the day, this time getting a win over UAB sophomore Daniel Moser 6-3, 6-3.
Sophomore Michael Thompson and junior Trey Walston also received first round byes, but both fell in the Round of 64. Thompson battled hard against sophomore Chris Thiemann of Mississippi before going down 7-6(1), 1-6, 6-1. Walston drew Chris' twin brother Marcell, who also plays for the Rebels, with Thiemann advancing 6-2, 6-0. Blanchard bowed out in the Round of 64 as well with a 5-7, 7-6(0), 6-2 loss to South Alabama sophomore Hanno Bartsch.
Myneni picked up another comfortable win in the Round of 32, handily defeating Mississippi State junior Tanner Stump 6-3, 6-0. Yassine was not as fortunate against his junior Bulldog opponent, dropping a 6-3, 7-5 decision to Antonio Lastre.
The Tide was only able to get one doubles match in before the rain washed out play for the day, as Myneni and Davis cruised to an 8-1 victory over Troy's sophomore duo of Xavier Masson and Branko Weber in the Round of 32.
Play continues Friday, beginning at 8:00 a.m. (CST).
Round of 32
Myneni/Davis (UA) def. Masson/Weber (TROY) 8-1
Round of 128
Ricky Doverspike (UA) def. Coby Kramer-Golinkoff (TUL) 6-2, 6-0
Creighton Blanchard (UA) def. Diego Machuca (USM) 7‐6(1), 7‐6(4)
Chris Doerr (MSU) def. Michael Davis (UA) 6-2, 6-2
Round of 64
Saketh Myneni (UA) def. Oscar Machuca (USM) 6-2, 6-1
Marcell Thiemann (UM) def. Trey Walston UA 6-2, 6-0
Chris Thiemann (UM) def. Michael Thompson (UA) 7-6(1), 1-6, 6-1
Ricky Doverspike (UA) def. Daniel Moser (UAB) 6-3, 6-3
Houssam Yassine (UA) def. Lucas Viel (USA) 6-0, 6-2
Hanno Bartsch (USA) def. Creighton Blanchard (UA) 5‐7, 7‐6(0), 6‐2
Round of 32
Saketh Myneni (UA) def. Tanner Stump (MSU) 6-3, 6-0
Antonio Lastre (MSU) def. Houssam Yassine (UA) 6-3, 7-5