URBANA, Ill. - Sophomore Søren Hess-Olesen defeated 56th-ranked Clifford Marsland of Tulsa in the second round of the NCAA Men's Tennis Championship singles draw on Thursday to advance to the round of 16 and earn ITA All-American honors.
"Anytime you become an All-American at Texas and earn the right to have your picture on the wall among the greats of our program, it means a great deal to for everyone involved," head coach Michael Center said. "We are proud of Søren's achievement this season and his win against a very good opponent today."
In doubles action, senior Chris Camillone and junior David Holiner opened first-round play with a three-set win over 28th-ranked Billy Federhofer and Gordon Watson of Florida (2-6, 6-3, 6-4). The win advanced the duo to the round of 16 to face top-seeded Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese of Tennessee on Friday.
"Chris and David picked up their level as the match went on," Center said. "It is always tough to win matches here, so it is great to see our guys get another opportunity tomorrow. Today they did a good job of putting a lot of first serves in play and played good percentage-tennis. If they continue to do that, they have a good chance tomorrow."
Camillone and Holiner are one win away from joining Hess-Olesen with All-American status this season.
In order to earn ITA All-American status in singles, a player must be a top-16 seed in NCAA Singles Championships, reach the round of 16 in NCAA Singles Championship or finish in the top-20 of the final ITA Rankings. Hess-Olesen earned All-American honors for the first time by advancing to Friday's round of 16, awaiting the winner of No. 25 Marcos Giron (UCLA) and No. 46 Michael Redlicki (Duke).
Hess-Olesen becomes Texas' 31st ITA All-American and first singles ITA All-American since Dimitar Kutrovsky earned the honor three times in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
The Aarhus, Denmark native used a pair of comebacks en route to his sixth consecutive win on Thursday. Down 3-1, in the first set against Marsland, Hess-Olesen won the next five games, including three service breaks, to take the opening set 6-3.
Hess-Olesen again found himself down with a 3-1 deficit in the second set before rain stopped play on the outdoor courts at the University of Illinois' Atkins Tennis Center. After the match was moved inside, Hess-Olesen chipped away at Marsland's lead to win the second set, 7-5.
First serve for Friday's round of 16 match will be announced at the end of the day. Live scoring and video of the NCAA Championship singles and doubles draws are available through FightingIllini.com.
NCAA Men's Tennis Championship
Urbana, Ill. • Atkins Tennis Center
Singles Draw (64)
First Round: #37 Søren Hess-Olesen (UT) def. #21 Chris Simpson (LSU) - 6-4, 5-7, 6-3
Second Round: #37 Søren Hess-Olesen (UT) def. #56 Clifford Marsland (Tulsa) - 6-3, 7-5
Round of 16: #37 Søren Hess-Olesen (UT) vs. #25 Marcos Giron (UCLA) - Friday, time TBA
Doubles Draw (32)
First Round: #41 Chris Camillone / David Holiner (UT) def. #28 Billy Federhofer / Gordon Watson (Florida) - 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
Round of 16: #41 Chris Camillone / David Holiner (UT) vs. #1 Mikelis Libietis / Hunter Reese (Tennessee) - Friday, time TBA