Men's Tennis Falls In SEC Opener

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas men’s tennis team fell to No. 20 Alabama, 6-1, Friday afternoon at the George M. Billingsley Tennis Center in Fayetteville, Ark. The match was the SEC opener for the Razorbacks, which slipped to 6-4 overall. The Crimson Tide improved its record to 10-1.

“Alabama jumped on us in doubles,” said UA head coach Robert Cox. “I thought we fought back in singles, but they came through and won. We won a lot of sets and I was pleased with the way we came back after doubles. We didn’t get it done though and you have to give Alabama credit. Doubles is only one point, but it is 30 percent of the match emotionally especially when you are trying to upset someone. Fortunately, we get to play again Sunday and we have to get tough and close one of these out.”

Alabama earned the doubles point in just over an hour with victories at the top and bottom of the order. Arkansas’ Dmity Lebedev and Chris Nott earned a win on the No. 2 court as the duo outlasted Alabama’s 27th-ranked Saketh Myneni and Billy Mertz, 8-7 (6). With the win, the two improved to 7-1 on the year and gave the Alabama pair their first loss of the season (8-1).

After falling behind 3-0 in the match, Nott got Arkansas on the board with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Mertz on court three. Nott improved to 15-6 overall and his 8-1 dual match mark leads the team.

Trailing 3-1, Arkansas took each of the remaining three matches to decisive third sets before Alabama secured the win. Former Razorback Michael Jung clinched by defeating Tyler Tarnasky, 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 on court five.

Arkansas returns to action Sunday at 1 p.m. when the Razorbacks host No. 26 Auburn.

#20 Alabama 6, #56 Arkansas 1March 6, 2009Fayetteville, Arkansas

Singles#66 Saketh Myneni (Ala.) def. #15 Blake Strode (Ark.), 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3#114 Mathieu Thibaudeau (Ala.) def. #120 Matt Hogan (Ark.), 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (4)Chris Nott (Ark.) def. Billy Mertz (Ala.), 6-3, 6-2Dan Buikema (Ala.) def. Dmitry Lebedev (Ark.), 6-3, 6-1Michael Jung (Ala.) def. Tyler Tarnasky (Ark.) 2-6, 6-3, 6-1Ricky Doverspike (Ala.) def. Nikolas Zogaj (Ark.) 6-2, 6-4

DoublesMathieu Thibaudeau/Dan Buikema (Ala.) def. #60 Matthew Hogan/Blake Strode(Ark.), 8-4Dmitry Lebedev/Christopher Nott (Ark.) def. #27 Saketh Myneni/Billy Mertz (Ala.), 8-7 (6)Andrew Felsenthal/Ricky Doverspike (Ala.) def. Tyler Tarnasky/Bradwin Williams, 8-3

Order of FinishDoubles: 3, 1*, 2Singles: 4, 6, 3, 5*, 1, 2

*-Clinching Match