May 26, 2011
Stanford, Calif. – Guillermo Gomez advanced to the round of 16 in the NCAA Singles Championship for the second straight year, while Georgia Tech’s doubles team of Kevin King and Juan Spir advanced in their first round match of NCAA Doubles Thursday at the Taube Family Tennis Center.
Gomez, the 14th seed, took out No. 41 Costin Poval of Oklahoma, 7-6, 7-5, Thursday, winning the first-set tiebreaker by a 7-4 count. The senior from Alicante, Spain, earned a spot in the round of 16 against the third seed, Rhyne Williams of Tennessee, who eliminated Georgia’s Javier Garrapiz, 6-1, 6-1, Thursday.
“Guillermo played well today and went for his shots. He dictated points well with his forehand,” said Tech head coach Kenny Thorne. “His opponent started the match very well, but G kept his composure and played his way back into the first set. It was a tough, well-played two-set win. He will have a good match tomorrow against a tough opponent from Tennessee. It should be some great tennis that our fans can see online at Stanford’s website.”
“Kevin and Juan pulled out a tough three set win today. The first round is always tough but they settled in well in the third set. They will play the number 1 doubles team in the country tomorrow and I know they are looking forward to it.”
King and Spir defeated Kyle McMorrow and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan of Washington, but overcame a slow start to do so. After dropping the first set, 6-4, the 14th-ranked Tech duo won a tie-breaker (7-2) for the second set, 7-6, then cruised in the third set, 6-1. Their reward is a second-round date Friday against the top-seeded team of Boris Conkic and John-Patrick Smith of Tennessee.
“Juan and Kevin had some jitters to work out in the first couple of sets of today’s match,” said Tech assistant coach Aljosa Piric. “They lost the first set and spent some time in the second trying to find their momentum on return of serve. They played a great tie-break to win the second set, and then they really let loose in the third set and played some great doubles to close the match out. They need to take that same mentality and momentum into their next round.”
Interestingly, both Gomez and Tech’s doubles team faced first-round opponents from the same school – Gomez defeated McMorrow Wednesday in his first-round singles match – and both will face opponents from the same school Friday to advance.