Spir, Melian Reach Singles Quarterfinals at USTA/ITA Regional
Tallahassee, Fla. - Georgia Tech's Juan Spir and Juan Melian each won a pair of singles matches Saturday and reached the quarterfinals of the main draw at the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional, while Spir and Hundal reached the semifinals of the doubles draw.
The Yellow Jackets captured a total of six singles matches on Saturday between the main and consolation draws. In doubles, top-seeded Spir and Hundal knocked off the No. 7 seeded team, Benjamin Lock and Dominic Cotrone of Florida State, 8-4. They will face Florida's Mike Alford and Florent Diep, the regional's fourth-seeded duo, at 4 p.m. Sunday.
Before that, Spir, the second seed in the singles draw, must face No. 8 Nathan Pasha of Georgia in his quarterfinal singles match at 8 a.m. The two-time All-American from Medellin, Colombia, ousted Juan Acuna, 7-6 (4), 6-2, in Friday's round of 32, then eliminated the Bulldogs' Ben Wagland, a seeded player, 6-7 (1), 7-6 (4), 6-4. Pasha reached the quarters by eliminating Tech's Vikram Hundal, 6-1, 6-0.
Melian reached the quarterfinals with a couple of straight-set wins Friday, defeating Georgia's Eric Diaz, 7-5, 6-3, and FSU's Lock. 6-3, 6-2. He will take on Georgia State's Victor Valente at 9 a.m. Sunday.
"We went 6-3 in singles today playing some of the toughest competition here, so I was pleased," said Tech coach Kenny Thorne. "We won our only doubles match after getting up 4-0 quickly in that match. It was a good day. Our two Juans are in the quarterfinals of singles tomorrow and are competing strong. Nathan Rakitt won two solid matches today and is becoming more and more comfortable with his game. He is a tough competitor who will definitely help the team this year."
Tech freshman Nathan Rakitt won twice in the consolation draw of singles, taking out Andres Bucaro of Florida State, 7-6 (6), 6-3, and Dean Tsamas of Florida Gulf Coast, 7-6 (5), 6-0. His classmate, Garrett Gordon, dropped a round of 32 consolation match to Oliver Pramming of South Florida, 6-3, 6-4. Anish Sharma lost in a qualifying consolation match to Laurenas Antropikas of Stetson, 6-0, 6-7, 1-0 (14-12).
"At this stage of the tournament our MVP goes to our trainer Zak Solomon, who keeps the guys ready to play each match as the tournament progresses," said Thorne. "He is very professional and is doing a great job."
The USTA/ITA Southeast Regional runs through Monday, when championship matches will be played. The champions of the singles and doubles draws at the regional championships will advance to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships Nov. 8-11 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.