WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Two Razorback men’s tennis players advanced to the semifinals of their respective singles flights on Saturday at the Purdue Invitational. Junior Nikolas Zogaj and freshman Mike Nott each won two consecutive matches on the day to continue their runs and remain undefeated on the weekend.
“Today was a very good day for each of our players,” said head coach Robert Cox. “Overall, this has been a successful weekend so far. (Nikolas) Zogaj has played exactly as we expected, as well as Mike Nott, who had another solid day. I hope this success continues into tomorrow.”
Zogaj, who just the day before won his first match of the fall in straight sets, did the exact same thing on day two as he defeated Jonas Dierckx of Iowa in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0. Zogaj’s singles day did not end there as he faced George Chanturia of Depaul for that semifinal spot. This match did not go in straight sets, but Zogaj still prevailed in a super-tiebreaker third set, 4-6, 6-2, (10-8), and earn the spot to play on the final day.
Nott had a very similar day over in Flight C. His second round matchup pitted him against Daven Brodess of Notre Dame. The England native made quick work of Brodess, dropping him in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2. Nott won his second singles match of the day soon after, defeating Iowa’s Michael Swank by the same score, 6-1, 6-2. He will now move on to play Purdue’s Jan-Frans Englebrecht in the semifinals.
Junior Taj Harrison fell just short of advancing to the semifinals as well in Flight C. After defeating Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly in straight sets, 7-5, 6-3, earlier in the day, Harrison got into a tough three-set match with Falk Debeenhouwer of Southern Illinois. After losing the first set, 6-4, Harrison battled back to win a close second set, 5-7. Unfortunately, Debeenhouwer was too tough in the end and narrowly won the third set, 10-8.
“Taj (Harrison) has played surprisingly good tennis this weekend,” said Coach Cox. “I think he has proved to himself with his play this weekend that he can play Division I tennis in this league.”
Sophomore Mike Ward also won his first singles match of the day against Brad Noel of Western Michigan, 6-2, 6-0. However, he suffered an injury to his back early in the second set of his match with Fabian Gogolin of Wisconsin-Green Bay and had to retire, even after winning the first set 6-3. With the injury, Coach Cox was forced to pull the doubles team of Ward and Zogaj out of their quarterfinal matchup.
The final day of play at the invite will occur tomorrow at the Schwartz Tennis Center on the Purdue campus with the first Hog player hitting the court at 8 a.m. Be sure to log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com for continuing coverage of the Razorback men’s tennis team. Complete Singles ResultsFlight BMike Ward (ARK) def. Brad Noel (WMU) 6-2, 6-0Fabian Gogolin (UWGB) def. Mike Ward (ARK) 3-6, 0-0 (30-15) ret.Nikolas Zogaj (ARK) def. Jonas Dierckx (IOWA) 6-2, 6-0Nikolas Zogaj (ARK) def. George Chanturia (DU) 4-6, 6-2, (10-8)Flight CMike Nott (ARK) def. Daven Brodess (ND) 6-1, 6-2Mike Nott (ARK) def. Michael Swank (IOWA) 6-1, 6-2Taj Harrison (ARK) def. Brian Kelly (ND) 7-5, 6-3Falk Debeenhouwer (SIU) def. Taj Harrison (ARK) 6-4, 5-7, (10-8)
Download: Flight C singles draw.pdf