Tiger Tennis Takes on No. 52 Mississippi State, Georgia State in Starkville
Feb. 19, 2009
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Memphis men's tennis team (5-2) will play two matches in Starkville, Miss., this weekend against No. 52 Mississippi State (2-2) and Georgia State (0-6) at the Pitts Tennis Centre. Memphis is coming off of a weekend-split with Rhodes and No. 28 Vanderbilt.
"This weekend will be the first chance for us to play on outdoor courts", said Memphis head coach Paul Goebel. "Mississippi State is one of the most improved teams in the nation and should provide a challenge for us. As for Georgia State, we always seem to play tough matches against them. We are looking forward to the weekend and hoping for good results."
The Tigers and Bulldogs will take to the courts at 2 p.m., on Fri., Feb. 20 in Starkville, whiie Georgia State and Memphis will face-off at 11 a.m., on Sat., Feb. 21 at the Pitts Tennis Centre.
Memphis continues to be led by Jorge Vazquez, a senior from La Coruna Spain, who jumped from the being the 102nd-ranked singles player at the beginning of the season to the 51st-best singles player in the nation in ITA's latest rankings released today. In that time period, Vazquez upended the 23rd and 26th ranked singles players in the nation. His only losses of the season have come to Lucas Jovita of South Florida, who at the time was ranked No. 27 and Nick Cromydas of No. 28 Vanderbilt.
This last weekend, Vazquez had the opportunity to play a match with one of the top players in the world. Vazquez made the qualifying round of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships at the Racquet Club of Memphis, thus offering him the chance to compete against Robert Kendrick of Naples, Fla. Kendrick is currently ranked No. 92 in the world. His highest ranking was No. 78 in May of 2007. Vazquez lost the match to Kendrick, 6-4, 6-3.
The Tigers have also been helped by solid singles performances put forth by Benedikt Fischer and Charlie Ramsay. Fischer, a senior from Dusseldorf, Germany, has posted a 5-4 mark in his final season for the Blue and Gray. Ramsay, a junior from Chattanooga, Tenn., is 4-4 so far this year.
In doubles, Fischer and Jordan Smith have produced a 6-3 record including wins over duos from No. 27 Rice, Murray State, Morehead State, Rhodes, Southeastern Louisiana and Prairie View A&M.
Mississippi State defeated No. 75 UAB, 5-2, last weekend. The Bulldogs two losses have come at the hands of No. 9 Ole Miss and No. 6 USC. MSU also upended No. 66 Saint Mary's, 4-0.
The Bulldogs singles line-up is led by Ryan Farlow at the No. 1 position. Farlow is 1-2 this season. He picked up a win over Ole Miss' Devin Britton earlier this season. One of his losses this season is to No. 7-ranked singles player Robert Farah of USC.
Mississippi State's singles line-up also boasts SEC Player of the Week Christopher Doerr, who defeated Daniel Moser of No. 75 UAB last week. Doerr also put up an impressive showing against Ole Miss' Otto Sauer.
In doubles, the top of the line-up is anchored by Doerr and Tanner Stump. The duo has competed against the nation's top two doubles tandems this season, losing to No. 1 Bram ten Berge and Jonas Berg of Ole Miss, 8-2, and Farah and Steve Johnson of USC, 8-3.
Georgia State enters Saturday's match coming off of losses to Jacksonville and North Florida last week. The Panthers are led by 119th-ranked Nejc Podkrajsek, who is 3-4 this year. Podkrajsek has one victory over a Top-125 opponent this season, upending Jordi Ballester of Jacksonville. Podkrajsek also faced Jovita of South Florida, falling 6-4, 6-3. The Georgia State junior will be the fourth ranked opponent of the season at No. 1 for Vazquez. Vazquez has also faced Bruno Rosa of Rice, Roy Kalmanovich of Illinois and Jovita of South Florida. His record if 2-1 vs. ranked opponents this season.
In doubles, Podkrajsek and Martin Shishkov are 3-4. The tandem upended 17th-ranked duo David Bendheim and Colin Paar of Nebraska, 8-6, earlier this year.
The Tigers will continue a tough stretch facing 20th-ranked Alabama on March 1 and 9th-ranked Ole Miss on March 3.