XU's Didavi, Giles-Osborn reach NAIA regional singles final
ATLANTA -- It will be an all-Xavier University of Louisiana matchup in Sunday's men's singles final of the USTA/ITA NAIA South Regional.
Second-seeded Loic Didavi defeated Auburn Montgomery's sixth-seeded Zine Jouini 6-4, 6-0 in one semifinal Saturday, and teammate Steffen Giles-Osborn rallied in the other semifinal for a victory against William Carey's eighth-seeded Ricky Keppeler, who retired while trailing 5-0 in the final set. Keppeler won the first set 6-4, but Giles-Osborn won a 7-4 tiebreaker to force a third set.
Didavi, a two-time NAIA second-team All-American and an AUM transfer, will try to win a singles title for the second straight week. He beat Shorter's No. 7 Guillame Ledrap 6-2, 6-0 in the quarterfinals. Giles-Osborn advanced to the semis when XU teammate Amir Rahbar retired at 3-all in the second set. Giles-Osborn won the first set 6-4.
"Steffen's win in the semifinals may be his best at Xavier," XU coach Alan Green said. "It was a huge win against a very good player."
XU newcomer Viktor Swoboda beat William Carey's Duffy Loel 8-3 to win the men's singles consolation championship.
Didavi and Zach Taylor, seeded second in men's doubles, will play William Carey's top-seeded Jody Claasen and Thomas Rizk in the final. Didavi and Taylor defeated Shorter's Ledrap and Romain Lefevre 8-3 in the semifinals.
In women's doubles, XU's Kourtney Howell and Nicole DeLoach lost 8-0 in the semifinals to AUM's top-seeded Ana Veselinovic and Jade Curtis. Howell lost 6-1, 6-0 to Curtis, a No. 2 seed, in the singles quarterfinals.