May 12, 2001
ATHENS, Ga. – The Georgia Tech men’s tennis team defeated Arizona, 4-2, in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships Saturday afternoon at Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
The Yellow Jackets claimed the first point of the day, dominating doubles play. Sophomores Roger Anderson and David Wright, ranked 45th nationally, defeated Arizona’s Steven Capriati and Carl Hagman, ranked 48th, 8-3 at No. 1 doubles. Tech senior Romain Coirault and freshman Joao Menano clinched the doubles point with an 8-4 victory over Tom Lloyd and Whi Kim at No. 2. Sophomore Stephen Moros and Sergio Aguirre led the Wildcats’ Arnaud Agniel and Brian Jackson, 6-3, at No. 3 when the Yellow Jackets clinched the point.
In singles competition, Menano quickly finished off Agniel, winning 6-1, 6-3, at No. 5. Arizona earned its first point of the day when 92nd-ranked Capriati defeated Anderson 6-2, 6-4, at No. 1. Arizona’s Kim defeated Moros at No. 4, 6-3, 6-1. Wright won a hard-fought battle over Hagman at No. 3 singles, 7-6 (4), 6-4. Freshman Alex Navinkov clinched the victory for the Yellow Jackets, defeating Jari Niskala, 6-4, 7-6 (5) at No. 6. Coirault and Lloyd were tied at three in the third set on court 2 when the match was decided.
“This was a good win for us,” Georgia Tech head coach Kenny Thorne said. “We came out and played well at doubles. We showed we were ready to play from the beginning and that was very important. We came out very relaxed in doubles. In college tennis that doubles point is very important.
“Alex (Navinkov) had a big win in singles. It’s his first NCAAs, he’s the last guy on the court as a freshman. There were a lot of things working against him. He had a good game plan. He realized he just needed to relax and implement it. I thought he reacted very well to the situation. He came up with some good forehands. That’s great experience for him to be in that kind of a situation as a freshman and that will help him later on.”
The Yellow Jackets will play the winner of Saturday’s second match between No. 1 Georgia and No. 58 Furman Sunday at noon.
Georgia Tech 4, Arizona 2
1. No. 92 Steven Capriati (UA) def. Roger Anderson (GT) 6-2, 6-4
2. Romain Coirault (GT) – Tom Lloyd (UA) DNF
3. David Wright (GT) def. Carl Hagman (UA) 7-6 (4), 6-4
4. Whi Kim (UA) def. Stephen Moros (GT) 6-3, 6-1
5. Joao Menano (GT) def. Arnaud Agniel (UA) 6-1, 6-3
6. Alex Navinkov (GT) def. Jari Niskala (UA) 6-4, 7-6 (5)
1. No. 45 Wright/Anderson (GT) def. No. 48 Capriati/Hagman (UA) 8-3
2. Coirault/Menano (GT) def. Lloyd/Kim (UA) 8-4
3. Moros/Aguirre GT) – Agniel/Jackson (UA) DNF