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March 12, 2010

COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 50 South Carolina dropped a 6-1 decision to No. 32 Alabama Friday afternoon in the Gamecocks’ first SEC match at Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center. Pedro Campos was the lone Gamecock to win his first set in singles after the Crimson Tide swept the three doubles matches for an early lead to the match. Campos went on to score South Carolina’s lone point of the match in straight sets.

After winning all six doubles contests over two matches last weekend, the Gamecocks dropped all three against Alabama to fall behind 1-0 heading into singles action. The Nos. 2 and 3 matches featured a myriad of service breaks with Alabama holding serve just enough to score a pair of 8-6 victories. Gamecock seniors Diego Cubas and Campos were more fortunate in the No. 1 matchup as both teams were able to hold serve until the Crimson Tide duo of Saketh Myneni and Michael Davis broke through Campos’ serve to take a 6-5 lead in the match. Campos responded with a forehand winner on break point of Myneni’s service game to level the match at 6-6. In the 15th game of the match, Campos battled back from 15-40 down on his serve to get to game point, but the Crimson Tide was able to hold on for the 8-7 edge. Myneni held serve to complete the doubles sweep with a 9-7 victory.

Alabama carried momentum into singles play, the first set in five of the six matches. Michael Thompson made the most emphatic statement with a 6-1 win over Ivan Machado in the No. 4 contest. The Gamecock sophomore battled back in the second set, but fell just shy of forcing a third stanza as he fell 4-6. The match was decided by identical 6-4, 6-1 scores in the Nos. 3 and 5 matches, as Jarryd Botha pushed past Alexander Kostanov and Houssam Yassine defeated Ivan Cressoni, respectively.

The last three matches on court were the most competitive of the day, and their results were delayed by 42 minutes as the teams waited out a light rain shower. In the No. 6 contest, Johannes Pulsfort dropped the first set 5-7, suffering a service break in the final game, but dominated the second set 6-3. In the third-set super-tiebreaker, Pulsfort took an early 5-2 advantage, but Ian Chadwell battled back to within 5-7 just before play was suspended. After the delay, Chadwell was the sharper of the two players and leveled the tiebreaker at 8-8. Pulsfort got back in front 9-8, but Chadwell stormed through the next three points to take the victory.

A pair of nationally ranked players battled in the No. 1 spot with No. 65 Cubas battling No. 38 Myneni. The matchup did not disappoint with a dramatic first set. Cubas won the first service break to forge ahead 4-3, but Myneni survived the first of three straight marathon games to get back on serve at 4-4. After holding serve to go up 5-4, the Crimson Tide senior outlasted Cubas to earn his second-straight service break for a 6-4 win in the first set. Cubas opened the second set with an efficient break of Myneni’s serve and held a 4-2 lead when play was suspended. The Gamecock senior quickly broke Myneni and held serve to send the match to a third-set tiebreaker. Re-energized by his second-set defeat, Myneni dominated the tiebreaker 10-3.

Campos was the lone Gamecock to win his first set, breaking Ricky Doverspike’s serve to go up 6-5 then holding for a 7-5 win in the No. 2 position. Doverspike answered by breaking Campos’ serve the holding serve to take an early 3-0 lead in the second set, but the Gamecock senior leveled the match at 4-4 with a break and a hold. After the rain delay, the players traded service breaks, and Doverspike held for a 6-5 advantage. Struggling on his serve since the break, Campos had to battle to send the set into a tiebreaker, which had to be moved to the USC Fieldhouse due to darkness. The move indoors put the Gamecock senior in a groove, and Campos dominated Doverspike with a 7-2 decision to score the Gamecocks’ lone point of the match.

South Carolina is back in action on Sun., March 14, at 1 p.m. against No. 68 Arkansas.


Doubles (Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1)
1. Saketh Myneni/Michael Davis (UA) def. Diego Cubas/Pedro Campos (SC) 9-7
2. Ricky Doverspike/Michael Thompson (UA) def. Ivan Machado/Johannes Pulsfort (SC) 8-6
3. Jarryd Botha/Trey Walston (UA) def. Ivan Cressoni/Alexander Kostanov (SC) 8-6

Singles (Order of Finish: 5, 3, 4, 6, 1, 2)
1. (38) Saketh Myneni (UA) def. (65) Diego Cubas 6-4, 2-6, 1-0 (3)
2. Pedro Campos (SC) def. Ricky Doverspike (UA) 7-5, 7-6 (2)
3. Jarryd Botha (UA) def. Alexander Kostanov (SC) 6-4, 6-1
4. Michael Thompson (UA) def. Ivan Machado (SC) 6-1, 6-4
5. Houssam Yassine (UA) def. Ivan Cressoni (SC) 6-4, 6-1
6. Ian Chadwell (UA) def. Johannes Pulsfort (SC) 7-5, 3-6, 1-0 (9)