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Razorback Senior Day Spoiled by Tigers’ Rally

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Razorback Senior Day Spoiled by Tigers’ Rally
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas jumped out to a big lead on 29th-ranked Auburn Sunday at the UA Outdoor Tennis Complex, but the Tigers ended the Razorbacks’ home schedule on a sour note, rallying to a 4-3 win.

After losing the doubles’ point, the Hogs took the first three singles matches to end, and looked poised to give seniors Talley Parker and Imraan Ismail a victory in their final home match as Razorbacks.

“Doubles was again key today,” Razorback Coach Robert Cox said, “Auburn used the doubles point to their advantage, especially when one of their guys got injured. Give them a lot of credit.”

Down 1-0, Arkansas junior Matt Roberts evened the score when Auburn’s Robbert Lathouwers was forced to retire on court 3, with Roberts leading 5-1 in the first set. The win was Roberts’ 25th of the season, leaving the Little Rock native one win shy of becoming the 21st Hog all-time to record 26 wins a season. Roberts also improves to 8-2 in SEC play.

Ismail posted a win in his last match in Fayetteville, 6-2, 6-3, over Bernardo Bachino at No. 6. It was the 30th career victory for the senior from Zimbabwe, who joined the Razorbacks in the fall of 2003. The win was Ismail’s first SEC triumph this season.

Junior Adrians Zguns made the score 3-1 with his straight set win over 47th-ranked Gabor Zoltan Pelva at No. 1, 6-3, 6-4. Zguns is 16-12 on the season and 5-5 in the SEC.

The Razorbacks only needed to take one of the remaining three matches to clinch the dual-match win. Each of the last three matches was sent to a decisive third set.

Hog Freshman Jimmy Khougassain battled to win the second set, but was defeated by Auburn’s Nick Lane, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2, at No. 4.

Junior Rohan Gajjar, ranked 75th nationally, led 3-1 in the final set over Alex Schweizer on court 2, but the Tiger sophomore rallied back to take the match, 7-5, 1-6, 6-4.

With the score tied 3-3, all eyes turned to the match at No. 5 between Arkansas freshman Michael Jung and Auburn’s Brett Hunter. Jung, who trailed 3-1 in the final set, fought back to take a 4-3 advantage, the Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. product could not hold off Hunter, and the Tigers clinched the win with Hunter’s, 6-0, 6-7(5), 6-4, victory.

“It’s too bad our efforts and fighting don’t show up on the scoreboard,” Cox said, “But, give Auburn a lot of credit, their experienced guys really came through for them today.”

Arkansas did take one of three doubles’ matches, as Jung and partner Andrei Nicoara improved to 3-1 in league play with an 8-6 win at No. 3.

The Razorbacks return to action Friday, April 15, with a 1 p.m. match at LSU.

No. 29 Auburn 4, No. 75 Arkansas 3
Fayetteville, Ark.

Doubles:
1. #13 Pelva/Schweizer (AU) def. Zguns/Gajjar (AR), 8-5
2. Lathouwers/George (AU) def. Ismail/Roberts (AR), 8-5
3. M. Jung/Nicoara (AR) def. Hunter/Lane (AU), 8-6
Order of Finish: 2, 1*, 3
*-Clinched point

Singles:
1. Adrians Zguns (AR) def. #47 Gabor Zoltan Pelva (AU), 6-3, 6-4
2. Alex Schweizer (AU) def. #75 Rohan Gajjar (AR), 7-5, 1-6, 6-4
3. Matt Roberts (AR) def. Robbert Lathouwers (AU), 5-1 (ret.)
4. Nick Lane (AU) def. Jimmy Khougassian (AR), 6-1, 4-6, 6-2
5. Brett Hunter (AU) def. Michael Jung (AR), 6-0, 6-7, 6-4
6. Imraan Ismail (AR) def. Bernardo Bachino (AU), 6-2, 6-3
Order of Finish: 3, 6, 1, 4, 2, 5*
*-Clinched match

Arkansas (4-15, 2-8 SEC)
Auburn (12-7, 3-7 SEC)



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