CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Most of Arkansas’ tennis players had a rough go at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association ICY Hot/All-American Tournament over the weekend, but junior Matt Roberts is on a roll and advanced through the pre-qualifying rounds.
Roberts, a junior from Little Rock, won five matches and plays again on Monday in the qualifying round.
Roberts, now 8-0 on the year, advanced with wins over Matija Sulin of Georgia State, 6-1, 6-3; Tejeschwara Chigater of Montana State, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2; Felix Insaurralde of East Tennessee, 6-2, 6-2; Paul Warkentin of Arizona, 6-0, 6-4; and Armando Carrascosca of San Diego State, 6-3, 7-5.
“Matt Roberts won five matches to qualify,” head coach Robert Cox said. “He was the bright spot. He’s played really solid tennis. He’s had five tough matches, but he’s really improved and stepped up since last spring.”
Roberts is already halfway to his win total of last year when he was 16-16.
Sophomore Matt Simpson (3-2) won his opening match, 6-1, 6-2 over Jamie Friedland of Northwestern, but was knocked out by Max Jones of New Mexico.
The other Razorbacks struggled, all losing their opening match. Senior Talley Parker fell to David Baxendine of Tennessee, 6-3, 6-4; senior Imraan Ismail lost to Juan Pablo DiCesare of Ole Miss, 6-3, 6-2; sophomore Andrei Nicoara was eliminated by Jhonny Berrido of Louisville, 6-4, 6-3; and freshman Michael Jung lost to Jeff French of Western Michigan, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.
In doubles, Parker and Nicoara lost to DiCesare and Bram Ten Berge of Ole Miss, 8-5.
In addition to Roberts, junior Rohan Gajjar begins play in Monday’s qualifying draw. The doubles teams of Roberts and Ismail, and Gajjar and Simpson are also in action. Junior Adrians Zguns, ranked No. 10 in the nation, begins play on Thursday in the main draw.