Not many of the outcomes in the first and second round of singles and the first round of doubles came as a surprise for those at the Wilson/ITA Central Region Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. On Friday.
The biggest upset of the day was in the first round of main draw singles when Ross Cunningham of Tulsa beat the nine-seed, Mauricio Ballivian of Drake, in a battle, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1. Also in the first round, Benedikt Lindheim of Nebraska knocked off Arkansas’ Chris Nott, the No.12-seed in another hard-fought three setter, 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-2.
No.1-seed, Tulsa’s Arnau Brugues advanced easily to the round of 16, getting by Maor Aumueller of Nebraska and Timon Reichelt of Illinois State. Andrei Daescu from Oklahoma, the top seed in the bottom part of the draw is also through to the round of 16 taking down Francois Van Impe of Nebraska and Phil Stephens of Tulsa.
On Saturday, main draw competition heats up as Arkansas’ two remaining players in the main draw, seven-seed Matt Hogan and Dmitry Lebedev face each other in the round of 16 and Daescu matches up with the hard-hitting Nathan Byrnes of Oklahoma State. Also in action on Saturday will be Nebraska’s Calin Paar who will take on Ionut Beleleu of Oklahoma.
In doubles on Friday, Eric West and Anton Leonenko of Southern Illinois fought the hardest of any seeded team, coming away with a win over Wichita State’s Matt Teivans and Timon Reichelt, 9-8(7). Two of the top three seed moved on easily into day two while Alberto Sottocorno and teammate Marko Ballok found themselves out of the draw, losing to the team of Aumueller and Benedikt Lindheim from Nebraska.
Picking up speed, the doubles draw will continue through the quarterfinals on Saturday, host Arkansas has the most teams remaining with four, but harder matches against foes such as Sergey Avdeyev and Blake Boswell of Oklahoma and Aumueller and Lindheim are to come.