Men's Tennis Falls To South Carolina


Men's Tennis Falls To South Carolina

Columbia, S.C. ? The USC men's tennis team swept the doubles competition and won five of six singles matches on Saturday, defeating East Carolina (1-3, 0-0 CUSA) 6-1 at the USC Indoor Tennis Facility in Columbia. It was Carolina's 18th consecutive win in season opening matches, and USC (1-0, 0-0 SEC) improved to 4-0 all-time against the Pirates.

East Carolina began all three doubles matches with the serve, and quickly took 1-0 leads in all three matches. However, on courts one and two, USC's teams of Tom Eklund/Pedro Rodrigues and Ben Atkinson/Dmitry Babenko took over almost immediately and cruised to wins of 8-3 and 8-1 respectively.

The two most exciting matches of the day took place on court two, and both involved USC's Geraldo Knorr and ECU's Felipe Fonseca. The first was the doubles match that paired Knorr with freshmen Jaime Cuellar, taking on Fonseca and Henrique Viana. The two pairs traded serves through the first nine games, culminating in a tenth game that took nearly 15 minutes. Knorr and Cuellar won the tenth game to take a 6-4 lead, and went on to win 10 of the last 11 points in the match, en route to an 8-4 victory for Carolina. The second match involving Knorr and Fonseca was the No. 2 singles match. The match was a tightly contested one from the start, and resulted in the only three-set match of the day. Knorr began the match in front, but fell 6-3 in the first set. The two players traded serves all the way through the second set, with Knorr getting the final break to win the set 7-5. ECU's Fonseca was able to break Knorr early in the third set and went on to earn a 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 victory, ECU's only match win of the day.

In other singles action, USC got wins from Eklund, Rodrigues, Cuellar, Ben Atkinson, and Adam Adler. Eklund started off the No. 1 match against Paulo Baumer quickly, winning the first set 6-2. Eklund sustained a slight injury late in the first set, but was able to pull through and defeat Baumer with a 7-5 second set victory. Rodrigues, the 101st ranked player in the nation, easily defeated Darren Mansell, 6-1, 6-1. The six-foot three Brazilian played almost half the match at the net, and overpowered Mansell with his hard serve and punishing forehand volley. Senior Ben Atkinson forced the only 'love set' of the day, and defeated Nick Rose, 6-3, 6-0.

No. 38 USC vs. East Carolina Results


Eklund/Rodrigues (USC) def. Baumer/Rose (ECU) 8-3
Knorr/Cuellar (USC) def. Fonseca/Viana (ECU) 8-4
Atkinson/Babenko (USC) def. Mansell/Stasch (ECU) 8-1

Eklund (USC) def. Baumer (ECU) 6-2, 7-5
Fonseca (ECU) def. Knorr (USC) 6-3, 5-7, 6-3
Rodrigues (USC) def. Mansell (ECU) 6-1, 6-1
Cuellar (USC) def. Viana (ECU) 6-1, 6-1
Atkinson (USC) def. Rose (ECU) 6-3, 6-0
Adler (USC) def. Stasch (ECU) 6-2, 6-2