Jan. 14, 2018
THE FLATS – Former Georgia Tech tennis standouts Kevin King and Irina Falconi advanced to the Australian Open main draw on Saturday after winning their respective matches in the qualifying singles round.
Entering the tournament ranked No. 202 in singles worldwide, King earned his first win of the Open against the 31st-seeded Uladzimir Ignatik in a hard-fought 7-6(2), 6-2 decision. The Peachtree City, Ga., resident then downed Zdenek Kolar 6-1, 7-6(2) before defeating John-Patrick Smith in a back-and-forth 6-4, 7-5 affair.
Ranked No. 129 in singles, Falconi rushed out of the gates to down Basak Eraydin 6-1, 6-0 in the first round of qualifying singles. The Jupiter, Fla., native then defeated Polina Monova in a tough 6-2, 7-6(2) match, before securing her spot in the main draw on Saturday with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Priscilla Hon.
Both owners of illustrious careers in the White and Gold, King and Falconi were both All-Americans and all-ACC selections during their time on The Flats. King finished as one of the men’s program’s best-ever doubles players (reaching No. 2 in the nation in 2011-12), while Falconi turned in a stellar two-year career, finishing 70-15 overall in singles including an ITA All-American singles and doubles titles. King was named the men’s tennis program’s volunteer assistant coach on Jan. 12, 2016.
King and Falconi open up main draw action early on Monday, Jan. 15 at 3 a.m. ET. King will face 15th-seeded and No. 15 worldwide Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, while Falconi looks to battle 23rd-seeded, No. 25 Daria Gavrilova.