ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia Tech senior Benjamin Cassaigne (Paris, France) topped Boise State’s Leif Meineke 7-6 (7), 6-7 (5), 6-2, in the first round of the 1999 NCAA Men’s Tennis Singles Championships Wednesday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
“I thought Benjamin played a nervous match,” said Tech head coach Kenny Thorne. “He never felt loose until the third set. Eventually he settled into his game and played well enough to win.”
With the score tied at 2-2 in the third, Cassaigne closed out the set and the match by winning the last four games.
“Today it was all about fighting,” said Cassaigne, who is making his second appearance in the NCAA singles tournament. “Sometimes you can win a match just by fighting it out. I had a match point in the second set, but I let him come back. I need to make some adjustments in my game if I am going to advance further in the tournament.”
Cassaigne and Meineke’s meeting was a rematch of the No. 1 singles position in the two teams’ NCAA first round dual-match on May 14. Cassaigne was serving for match point in the second set of the previous meeting when play was halted after the Yellow Jackets clinched the team victory.
Cassaigne now advances to the round of 32 where he will meet either Georgia’s Chad Carlson or Southern Methodist’s Ignacio Hirigoyyen, who were to play the last match of Wednesday’s first round. Cassaigne also became the first Tech player since Thorne and Bryan Shelton in 1988 to win their first-round match in the NCAA singles tournament.