By Nicole Poirier/BB&T Atlanta Open
As the second day of qualifying at the BB&T Atlanta Open comes to an end, most of the players who call Georgia their home came out with a victory.
Kevin King, a lefty Georgia Tech graduate and three-time All-ACC player, defeated Tyler Hochwalt in a three-setter, which clocked in as the longest match of the tournament thus far. Both players held serve the entire first set, with King fighting off multiple break points to take the set to a tiebreak. Hochwalt came out on top clipping the back line on the final point.. The second set followed much the same pattern of the first, but King was able to rally back to take the second set tiebreak. With the momentum with King, he took the set and the match with a score of 6-1.
Fellow Yellow Jackets Nathan Rakitt, a freshman, and Dean O’Brien, who was a Yellow Jacket at the same time as King, both fell short in their matches. Rakitt fell in a two-set match 6-4, 6-3 on AJC Grandstand Court to Mischa Zverev, the fifth-seed qualifier from Germany. O’Brien fell in a quick two-setter 6-1, 6-1 to top-seed Matthew Ebden that lasted only 49 minutes.
Two players from Georgia, eighth-seed Robby Ginepri and seventh-seed Donald Young posted wins Sunday.
After going down 1-4 to Jeff Dadamo in the first set, Ginepri, former world No.15, fought back to get the set to 5-3 before ultimately dropping the first set 6-3. In the next two sets, Ginepri took control of the match, taking Dadamo’s dominant serve earlier and capitalizing on the longer rallies he had failed to win in the first set. These improvements allowed Ginepri to take the next two sets, and the match, 6-3, 6-1.
Young, the youngest player to reach junior No.1 and former winner of both the junior Australian Open and Wimbledon, beat former University of Alabama player Saketh Myneni. After going down to Myneni 0-3 in the opening set, Young rallied back and fought power with lefty topspin to get two holds and a break to tie up the score, pumping his fist throughout. From here on, both players continued to hold their serves, taking the set to a tiebreak. They continued to hold in the tiebreak as well until Young took control with a down-the-line forehand winner that gave him the momentum to take the set. Young was able to keep up the energy in the second set.
Young’s ability to capitalize on break points and deliver crushing serves gave him the avenue he needed to secure the second set 6-3 and finish out a successful day at the tournament for Georgia players.
Tim Smyczek, the second-seed qualifier, took out Mitchell Frank, a current UVA player, in a routine two-setter 6-1, 6-4. Somdev Devvarman, a fellow UVA player and the third-seed qualifier, lost out to Prakash Amritraj, an up-and-comer from USC 6-3, 6-4.
Winners of Monday's final qualifying matches will advance to the main draw.