Spir/Hundal Reach Doubles Finals of USTA/ITA Regional

Oct. 22, 2012

Tallahassee, Fla. – Georgia Tech’s Juan Spir and Vikram Hundal continued their run through the doubles draw at the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional, easing past Florida’s Mike Alford and Florent Diep to reach the finals on Monday.

The top-seeded Tech tandem captured an 8-3 victory over the fourth-seeded Gator duo, and will meet Moritz Buerchner and Nemcsek of North Florida, the third seed, in Monday’s championship match at 10 a.m. Spir, a senior and two-time All-American in doubles, will be looking for his second USTA/ITA doubles title, having won with former Tech All-American Kevin King in 2011.

They began the tournament with a pair of shutout victories in the rounds of 32 and 16, then beat a team from Florida State, 8-4, in the quarterfinals. Sunday’s semifinal win was the 81st for Spir in his Tech career, one shy of the Tech record set by Sergio Aquirre from 1997-2001.

A win Monday earns them a berth in the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships Nov. 8-11 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.

“Juan and Vikram showed a lot of character with their performance today, responding to a tough semifinal loss in singles for Spir,” said Tech coach Kenny Thorne. “They are covering the net and returning great. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s final against a strong North Florida team.”

Spir and Juan Melian, another Tech senior, were eliminated in singles action Sunday. Georgia State’s Victor Valente knocked both Yellow Jackets out of the regional in straight sets, dispatching Melian 6-3, 6-1, in the quarterfinals, and Spir 7-6 (3), 6-4.

“Victor played great,” said Thorne. “He returned and passed very well and maintained a high level of play throughout the entire match.”

In the consolation draw of singles, freshman Nathan Rakitt picked up two victories, downing Oliver Pramming of South Florida, 6-2, 6-2, and Tianyu Bao of Florida Gulf Coast, 6-1, 5-7, 1-0 (11-9). Hundal and Anish Sharma each won matches in the qualifying consolation draw. Hundal beat Dylan Gunning of FGCU, 7-6 (0), 6-3, and Sharma got past Gabe Echevarry of FGCU, 6-2, 6-4.

“Nathan competed like a champion today and played with purpose in both of his singles wins,” added Thorne. “We are excited about building on his performance this weekend. Anish improved and played tougher this weekend finishing with back to back wins in the consolation draw. Vikram also competed well in his straight set singles win today.”

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