Jan. 17, 2015
THE FLATS – The first day of the Georgia Tech-hosted MLK Invitational saw the home team score some impressive wins against the No. 2-ranked Oklahoma Sooners Saturday, including a pair of singles victories and one in doubles at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex.
Yellow Jacket sophomore Carlos Benito of Madrid, Spain, defeated Jose Antonio Salazar (4-6, 6-4, 6-3) to remain unbeaten this spring. Benito fell behind in the first set and looked to be in trouble as the match proceeded. After falling behind (4-0) in the second set, Benito won six straight games to win the set 6-4. He left nothing to chance and won his third set, 6-3.
Senior Eduardo Segura, also of Madrid, Spain, also picked up a solid win in singles play with a dramatic victory over Oklahoma’s Spencer Papa. Segura won the first set (6-4), but Papa fought back in the second to force a tiebreaker at 6-all. The Spaniard outlasted the Sooner taking the tiebreaker (9-7) and the match.
Benito’s victory came after a grueling battle in doubles play earlier in the afternoon. He and partner Eduardo Segura, a senior also from Madrid, fell to the Oklahoma pairing of Axel Alvarez and Dane Webb 6-7 in an exciting 7-3 tiebreak.
“I loved how Eddie finished off in straight sets,” said head coach Kenny Thorne. “He just stayed on top of it and did a great job.”
In doubles play, Christopher Eubanks and Nathan Rakitt paced the Jackets with 6-1 victory over the Sooners’ Axel Alvarez and Dane Webb. At the No. 3 spot, Michael Kay and Casey Kay fell to Spencer Papa and Jose Salazar, 4-6.
“I think we are going to be a team that’s going to be a lot better every week,” said Coach Thorne. “We had moments where we were a little anxious, but they weren’t glaring. It was just a few moments where we got a little anxious and didn’t do the right thing. And that was all for the most part. These guys fight hard. And credit to Oklahoma because they are obviously a very good team. We have to get back. That’s why this tournament is great because tomorrow we can make all the corrections, move on, and get a little bit better.”
The tournament will resume Sunday morning with a match between No. 8 Georgia and the Sooners. Tech will face Columbia Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. and Georgia on Monday, also at 2 p.m.
Saturday, January 17, 2015 at Atlanta, Ga. (Ken Byers Tennis Complex)
#15 Nathan Pasha (Georgia) def. #22 Winston Lin (Columbia) 7-5, 6-1
Dragos Ignat (Columbia) def. #11 Austin Smith (Georgia) 7-6, 6-4
#101 Nick Wood (Georgia) def. Max Schnur (Columbia) 6-4, 7-6
Paul Oosterbaan (Georgia) def. #124 Mike Vermeer (Columbia) 6-4, 5-7, 7-5
Ben Wagland (Georgia) def. Ashok Narayana (Columbia) 7-5, 4-6, 6-3
Eric Rubin (Columbia) def. Eric Diaz (Georgia) 6-3, 6-1
Miguel Alda (Columbia) def. Peter Bertran (Georgia) 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (10-6)
#33 Dane Webb (Oklahoma) def. #49 Nathan Rakitt (Georgia Tech) 6-2, 6-2
#14 Axel Alvarez Llamas (Oklahoma) def. Christopher Eubanks (Georgia Tech) 6-7, 6-3, 6-1 Eduardo Segura (Georgia Tech) def. Spencer Papa (Oklahoma) 6-4, 7-6 (9-7)
#50 Alex Ghilea (Oklahoma) def. Michael Kay (Georgia Tech) 7-5, 6-4
Carlos Benito (Georgia Tech) def. Jose Antonio Salazar (Oklahoma) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
Florin Bragusi (Oklahoma) def. Cole Fiegel (Georgia Tech) 6-7, 6-1, 6-4
Austin Siegel (Oklahoma) def. Casey Kay (Georgia Tech) 6-4, 6-1
#16 Ben Wagland/Paul Oosterbaan (Georgia) def. #10 Max Schnur/Ashok Narayana (Columbia) 6-4
#34 Eric Diaz/Austin Smith (Georgia) def. Winston Lin/Mike Vermeer (Columbia) 7-6 (7-4)
Nathan Pasha/Nick Wood (Georgia) def. Dragos Ignat/Richard Pham (Columbia) 6-2
#38 Axel Alvarez Llamas/Dane Webb (Oklahoma) def. Carlos Benito/Eduardo Segura (Georgia Tech) 7-6 (7-3)
Christopher Eubanks/Nathan Rakitt (Georgia Tech) def. Florin Bragusi/Alex Ghilea (Oklahoma) 6-1
Spencer Papa/Jose Antonio Salazar (Oklahoma) def. Casey Kay/Michael Kay (Georgia Tech) 6-4
All matches played indoors