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Jan. 31, 2010

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Freshman Alexander Kostanov rallied back from losing a first-set tie-breaker to deliver the match-clinching victory as No. 43 South Carolina defeated No. 48 VCU 4-2 in the first match of the ITA Kickoff Weekend at Goodfriend Tennis Center. The Gamecocks won the doubles point but split the first four singles contest, leaving the match in the hands of Kostanov and Ivan Cressoni, both of whom were locked in a three-set battle.

Kostanov opened the match teaming with Johannes Pulsfort in the No. 3 doubles position to claim an 8-2 win over Filip Svensson and Oscar Perman to decide the doubles point in the Gamecocks’ favor after the Nos. 1 and 2 doubles teams split their matches.

Svensson leveled the match with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Pulsfort in the No. 4 singles spot. Pedro Campos and Diego Cubas put the Gamecocks back on top with consecutive, straight-set victories in the Nos. 2 and 1 singles positions, respectively. Campos got a late break in the second set to shut down Krisztin Krocsko 6-2, 7-5. Ranked No. 48 in the nation, Cubas followed close behind with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Thibaut Charron.

VCU’s Tim Johannsen used a first-set tie-breaker to get in front of Ivan Machado in the No. 3 match then scored a 6-1 win in the second set to bring the Rams within a point at 3-2.

The match came down to the last two singles spots, in which both Kostanov and Cressoni dropped their first sets in tie-breakers. Kostanov leveled his match with Max Wennakoski with a 6-3 win in the second set and was into the third set when Cressoni’s 6-2 second-set victory sent his match to a third set as well. Kostanov was more efficient in his match, grabbing a 6-3 win to seal the Gamecock’s second win of the season.

The Gamecocks will play host No. 5 Tennessee, which shutout on No. 53 Utah, on Mon., Feb. 1, at 2 p.m. with the winner earning an invitation to play in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships at Boar’s Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va., Feb. 12-15.


Doubles (Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3)
1. Thibaut Charron/Tim Johannsen (VCU) def. (27) Diego Cubas/Ivan Machado (SC) 8-5
2. Ivan Cressoni/Pedro Campos (SC) def. Krisztin Krocsko/Camill Salomon (VCU) 8-4
3. Johannes Pulsfort/Alexander Kostanov (SC) def. Filip Svensson/Oscar Perman (VCU) 8-2

Singles (Order of Finish: 4, 2, 1, 3, 5)
1. (48) Diego Cubas (SC) def. Thibaut Charron (VCU) 6-1, 6-4
2. Pedro Campos (SC) def. Krisztin Krocsko (VCU) 6-2, 7-5
3. Tim Johannsen (VCU) def. Ivan Machado (SC) 7-6, 6-1
4. Filip Svensson (VCU) def. Johannes Pulsfort (SC) 6-3, 6-2
5. Alexander Kostanov (SC) def. Max Wennakoski (VCU) 6-7, 6-3, 6-3
6. Match suspended