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Jan. 14, 2005

New Orleans, La. – The USC men’s tennis team competed in the first round of the 2005 SEC Indoor Coaches Championships, at the Hilton Riverside Racquet Club in New Orleans, La. on Friday. Competing in singles for the 38th ranked Gamecocks were senior Ben Atkinson, junior Tom Eklund, and freshman Jaime Cuellar. In the doubles competition, Eklund and Cuellar teamed up for their third tournament together.

In early morning action, Atkinson, fell to host LSU’s Danny Bryan. Atkinson and Bryan were separated by just two breaks in the match, with Bryan getting the win 6-4, 7-5.

In Carolina’s second match of the day, Eklund faced Florida’s Jordan Dolberg. Eklund recorded his 42nd career singles win and his first over a Gator, earning a 6-2, 6-4 win to advance to the round of 32. Eklund will take the court against the seeded Gabor Zoltan-Pelva of Auburn at 10:30 a.m.(ET) on Saturday. Zoltan has faced USC each of the last two years, going 2-0 in both singles and doubles, including an 8-4 doubles win over Eklund and Marcus Westman last March in Columbia.

In the final singles match of the day for the Gamecocks, Jaime Cuellar matched up with Mississippi State’s Phillipe Frayssinoux. Cuellar’s second-set rally came up short and Frayssinoux pulled out a 6-3, 7-5 win over the USC’s true freshman from El Salvador.

In doubles action, Carolina’s Tom Eklund and Jaime Cuellar squared off against number 10 and fourth-seeded John Isner and Antonio Ruiz of Georgia. Isner/Ruiz were too strong for Eklund/Cuellar and earned an 8-2 win over the Gamecocks.

Play resumes Saturday at 8 a.m. with third-ranked and first seeded Jesse Witten of Kentucky facing Tennessee’s Bobby Cameron. In singles play, 13 of the 16 seeded players advanced, with the upset of the day being Georgia’s Ricardo Gonzales defeating number 17 and fourth-seeded Scott Brown of Vanderbilt in three sets, 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-2. The top four seeds in the doubles tournament all survived the first round.

USC Results:


Danny Bryan (LSU) def. Ben Atkinson (USC) 6-4, 7-5

Tom Eklund (USC) def. Jordan Dolberg (UF) 6-2, 6-4

Phillipe Frayssinoux (MSU) def. Jaime Cuellar (USC) 6-3, 7-5


#10(4)Isner/Ruiz (UGA) def. Eklund/Cuellar (USC) 8-2