The 12th-ranked Texas A&M men’s tennis team defeated 24th-ranked Oklahoma State, 4-1, to close out ITA Kick-Off Weekend tournament play held Sunday afternoon before a crowd of 294 fans at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
Junior All-American Austin Krajicek (Brandon, Fla.) clinched the match victory for the top-seeded Aggies (3-1) with a 7-6 (2), 6-4 win over defending Big 12 Conference Player of the Year and 15th-ranked Oleksandr Nedovyesov of Oklahoma State at No. 1 singles. A&M and the second-seeded Cowboys (1-2) will meet each other again in regular-season league competition on March 28 in College Station.
“It feels good,” said Krajicek after beating the former No. 1 player in the country a year ago. “I’ve had some good practices this spring and I just went out and tried to play my best. He’s a great player and we haven’t had too much success against him in the past. I played really aggressive and I don’t think I gave him much of a rhythm, so I was pleased with how I played. It was a good day.”
The Aggies, who fell to fourth-seeded and 46th-ranked Fresno State, 4-3, on Saturday, rebounded from the loss by claiming the doubles point early behind the teamwork of 18th-ranked Krajicek and junior Jeff Dadamo (Tampa, Fla.) over 15th-ranked Nedovyesov and Alexsey Bessonov, 8-5, at the top of the lineup. Senior co-captain Marcus Lunt (San Antonio, Texas) and junior Alexey Grigorov (Moscow, Russia) edged Maximilian Kuhn and Ilija Martinoski, 9-7, at No. 3 to give A&M the 1-0 lead.
“It was really important for us to come out strong today,” Krajicek said. “Yesterday was very disappointing, but it’s early in the season and we all make mistakes. We have a pretty young team, so we’re going to build on that and I think today was really important for us to get on winning note right away (with the doubles point).”
Also contributing to the final team score was freshman Alberto Bautista (McAllen, Texas) who continued on his winning ways with a 6-3, 6-1 straight-set victory over Maximilian Kuhn at No. 6 singles to improve to an undefeated 4-0 on the young season. Jeff Dadamo, ranked No. 32 nationally in the Campbell/ITA singles rankings, picked up A&M’s third point of the match in a 6-3, 6-2 rout of Ilija Martinoski at the No. 3 line.
“It was a big win for us, just because this is a Big 12 team and we came back and won a tough doubles point,” Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton said. “It really helped us a lot, because we were behind in the doubles and it didn’t look like we were going to win it. Our No. 3 team really came through for us today and that was a huge momentum swing. The Krajicek-Nedovyesov match may be one of the best victories of any Aggie of all-time. He (Nedovyesov) has been ranked No. 1 in the country for the last couple of years and for Austin to come out and beat him in straight sets – the way he played and competed, it was a great win. I couldn’t be prouder today of his efforts and of the other guys as well.”
Fresno State blanked 34th-ranked and third-seeded Rice, 4-0, on Sunday to advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships to be held on Feb. 11-14 on the campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.
Up next, the Aggies will face their second consecutive Big 12 foe in non-conference action with rival Texas on Friday, Feb. 5 for the bragging rights to the Texas Cup at 6 p.m. (CT). The neutral site match will be played at the Downtown Club at The Met in Houston, Texas.
(12) TEXAS A&M 4, (24) OKLAHOMA STATE 1
Jan. 31, 2010
ITA Men’s Tennis Kick-Off Weekend
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
at College Station, Texas
No. 1 – Austin Krajicek (Texas A&M) def. (15) Oleksandr Nedovyesov (Oklahoma State), 7-6 (2), 6-4.
No. 2 – Alexis Klegou (Texas A&M) vs. (44) Anton Bobytskyi (Oklahoma State), DNF.
No. 3 – (32) Jeff Dadamo (Texas A&M) def. Ilija Martinoski (Oklahoma State), 6-3, 6-2.
No. 4 – Alexsey Bessonov (Oklahoma State) def. Alexey Grigorov (Texas A&M), 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.
No. 5 – Niall Angus (Texas A&M) vs. Eric West (Oklahoma State), DNF.
No. 6 – Alberto Bautista (Texas A&M) def. Maximilian Kuhn (Oklahoma State), 6-3, 6-1.
No. 1 – (18) Dadamo-Krajicek (Texas A&M) def. (15) Nedovyesov-Bessonov (Oklahoma State), 8-5.
No. 2 – (39) Bobytskyi-West (Oklahoma State) def. Angus-Klegou (Texas A&M), 8-3.
No. 3 – Marcus Lunt-Grigorov (Texas A&M) def. Maximilian Kuhn-Martinoski (Oklahoma State), 9-7.
ORDER OF FINISH
Singles: 6, 3, 4, 1*
Doubles: 2, 1, 3